Two released on bail in case of Hank Rhon

Former mayor, eight others remain behind bars

TIJUANA – A judge ordered two suspects released on bail Thursday in the case of Jorge Hank Rhon, a court announcement said.

The federal court identified the two as Carlos Gonzalo Pérez Contreras and Ramón López Apodaca, who were implicated along with nine others – among them former mayor Hank Rhon – of having firearms limited to use by the military.

Baja California Ninth District Judge Blanca Evelia Parra ordered the two released "under caution," a measure allowed in crimes not considered serious if the suspect is able to make bail. The amount was not released.

According to federal judicial authorities, Hank Rhon is accused of stockpiling weapons and ammunition. It's considered a serious crime, in which bail is not allowed, which is punishable by two to nine years in prison if found guilty of possessing guns, or five to 30 years if the weapons are rifles.

The federal Attorney General's Office announced Wednesday that 49 of the 88 weapons seized at Hank Rhon's home around dawn on Saturday were for the exclusive use of the army. Ten of them were licensed, but five of them not to any of the 10 detained along with Hank Rhon. The remaining 78 were not licensed, the office said.

Hank Rhon's attorneys were granted additional time to organize their defense. The period expires before dawn on Tuesday.

The former mayor, a wealthy businessman with vast holdings in Mexico and abroad, and eight of the other suspects remain behind bars at El Hongo, east of Tecate, awaiting judicial proceedings.


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