LOS ANGELES (LALATE EXCLUSIVE) – Was Jenny Rivera’s plane owned by Christian Esquino Nuñez, a man accused of being linked to a Tijuana, Mexico cartel? The plane which mysteriously crashed carrying Jenni Rivera, cited as “Jenny Rivera” in flight logs, is being linked to purported owner Christian Esquino aka Christian E. Esquino Nuñez or Ed Nunez, LALATE can report.
Esquino has been accused by federal prosecutors of allegedly being tied to a Tijuana cartel operated by the Arrellano-Felix brothers. He has been accused of allegedly smuggling dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saadi, into Mexico. And Esquino has been allegedly deported from San Diego to Mexico. Today, Mr. Esquino whereabouts remain unknown.
Why did Jenni Rivera’s plane crash? On Sunday, LALATE broke news that the Learjet 25, number N345MC, was registered to a company called Starwood Management of Las Vegas, Nevada. FAA records indicated that the plane was built in 1969 and was currently registered through 2015.
But since Sunday, fans have wondered why the plane crashed. Today, shocking allegations unearthed by LALATE that reveal more about the man purportedly behind Jenni Rivera’s jet, Christian Esquino Nuñez.
The plane is registered to Starwood Management. But documents released to news today claim that Starwood is allegedly owned secretly by Christian Esquino Nuñez, a once deported Mexico citizen and former resident of San Diego, California.
LALATE can report that Christian Esquino was allegedly deported from the U.S. to Mexico by DEA. Esquino was accused of handling flights out of Toluca de Lerdo, Mexico. Moreover, Esquino purportedly confessed before a Mexico court that one of his planes was used to smuggle Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saadi, into Mexico.
Esquino was born in Mexico but traveled to the U.S. in 1969. But earlier this year he witnessed two of his planes seized in Arizona and Monterrey. He was accused at the time of being involved with several plane companies, namely Argentum Air, Aircraft R Us, Wing Financial and Starwood Management, the company that flew Rivera Sunday.
But over the years, Esquino has been accused of different shocking allegations. “In 1991, he was indicted in Orlando, Fla., along with a dozen suspected members of a [cartel] ring”, claims the National Post. In a court document, Esquino’s attorney wrote “Mr. Esquino has known for over a year that he was under investigation by federal authorities in San Diego for … trafficking, money laundering and tax evasion.”
Previously, prosecutors claimed that Mr. Esquino was allegedly linked to a Tijuana cartel, controlled by the Arrellano-Felix brothers. Prosecutors ultimately never charged Esquino with such claims but brought 44 fraud counts against him. He pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit fraud involving aircraft. After serving a two year fraud term, he was allegedly deported to Mexico.
But DEA’s investigation of Starwood didn’t end there. In June, DEA sought documents from Jorge Hank-Rhon, former mayor of Tijuana. Esquino has been accused on unpaid IRS taxes and even allegedly owing money to Los Tigres del Norte.
Today, the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) has sought comment from Nunez. But according to local news, Nunez’s location remains a mystery today.
During a bail hearing, prosecutors once made serious allegations against Esquino. “During arguments over whether to release Mr. Esquino on bail, federal prosecutors said he was wanted in Mexico and suggested a connection to the Tijuana … cartel. Controlled by the seven Arrellano-Felix brothers, the cartel smuggled huge quantities of [substances] into the U.S. and has ‘a reputation for extreme violence’,” reports the National Post.
Christian Esquino, Christian Esquino Nunez, Ed Nunez, Jenny Rivera