Mexican drug cartel suspect gave $250K to CMU
Marco Delgado, the former Carnegie Mellon University trustee charged in connection with a half-billion-dollar money laundering scheme for a Mexican drug cartel, was not just a name on school letterhead.
The Oakland university hailed the El Paso lawyer for awarding its Heinz School of Public Policy and Management $250,000 in 2003 to endow fellowships for Hispanic graduate students. Delgado received a master's degree from the Heinz School in 1990.
The grateful school matched his gift 100 percent and established the Marco Delgado Fellowship for the Advancement of Hispanics in Public Policy.
Three years later the university named Delgado to its board of trustees, and he served there until June, university officials said. He also served on the Dean's Advisory Council of the Heinz School.
Robert Strauss, a professor in the Heinz School, was stunned to hear of Delgado's arrest.
“I've known Marco Delgado for some considerable number of years. He was never a student (of Strauss') but always was interested in our Hispanic students, and he has been generous,” he said.
Asked if there are any concerns about the origins of Delgado's 2003 gift, CMU spokesman Kenneth Walters said, “We simply have no knowledge about this matter and so must reserve comment while the appropriate authorities investigate.”
Agents from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations arrested Delgado, 46, on Friday at an El Paso restaurant. He has been in federal custody since then and is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Norbert Garney on Thursday morning for a bond hearing.
A federal grand jury entered a sealed indictment against him Sept. 5. It alleges he conspired with unnamed others to launder more than $600 million from a Mexican cartel's drug trafficking business between July 2007 and December 2008.
“Drug cartels operate solely on the basis of greed. However, when they can also corrupt trusted authorities, the integrity and stability of both countries' financial infrastructure may be at risk,” said Dennis A. Ulrich, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in El Paso.
In a biography that until recently appeared on CMU's Heinz School website, Delgado identified himself as one of the founders of an offshore partnership that he said has become a multinational enterprise dealing in “fee-based energy assets.”
The biography said Delgado took a leave from his law practice in early 2012 to aid Enrique Pena Nieto's successful campaign for the Mexican presidency and “has been asked to assist as a member of his transition team.” The Nieto transition does not list him.
Neither the U.S. Embassy in Mexico nor the Mexican president's office responded to inquiries.
Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.