The Chinese-born pharmaceuticals mogul dubbed “El Chino” by Mexico’s media was in U.S. District Court yesterday to set a date for his trial on drug charges. A Mexican citizen since 2003, Zhenli Ye Gon is accused of importing at least 86 metric tons of restricted chemicals into Mexico for the manufacture of methamphetamine destined for the US market. A search of his Mexico City home turned up $207 million, most of it in $100 bills that had been stashed behind false walls and in closets. He was arrested at a Wheaton, MD restaurant two weeks ago before he could finish his dinner of codfish and baby carrots.
No trial date was set at yesterday’s hearing. The government said it would take at least six months to gather evidence from China, Mexico, Switzerland and Germany. The defense, meanwhile, has refused to waive Ye Gon’s right to a speedy trial. Another hearing has been scheduled for September 7.
In the sketch Ye Gon is on the far left, in the orange jumpsuit. The attorneys at the podium are, left to right, Paul Laymon for the US and, representing Mr. Ye Gon, Martin McMahon and Ning Ye Ynyale. Presiding is Judge Emmet G. Sullivan.
WaPo has the Mexican side of the story here.