MIAMI, March 29 (UPI) -- The attorney for the alleged ringleader of the Cali drug cartel facing trial in Miami is suing the U.S. government so he can be paid by his client's wife.
Defense attorney Jose Quinon filed the civil action in an effort to force the Treasury Department to give him a license allowing him to accept money from his client's wife.
Quinon's client is Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, who was extradited from Colombia to Florida last year. His brother, Miguel, was brought to Miami earlier this year.
Quinon said the U.S. government is violating the extradition agreement by forbidding Orejuela's wife from paying legal expenses.
Federal law bans lawyers from accepting payment from designated narcotics traffickers or taking money that is tainted by drugs.
Orejuela's wife is on the list of traffickers.
If Orejuela cannot find a way to pay his attorneys under federal law, a public defender is likely to be appointed to handle the case.