2 Sinaloa Cartel Members, Including Ex-Mexico Cop, Convicted in U.S. Federal Court
Two reputed Sinaloa Cartel members were convicted by a federal judge in Texas on Friday for their roles in the group's narcotics distribution operations.
According to El Paso Times, Mario Iglesias-Villegas, 36, alias "Grim Reaper," and Arturo Shows Urquidi, 50, also known as "Chous," were convicted on several drug trafficking, weapon, and money laundering charges.
KFOX14 reported that Urquidi is a former police officer of Chihuahua state in Mexico. In a statement, the U.S. Attorney's Office Western District of Texas said both Sinaloa Cartel members were found guilty of conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes and racketeering conspiracy.
They were also found guilty of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute, conspiracy to import a controlled substance, and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.
"Grim Reaper" was also convicted of five counts of violent crimes, including one count each of conspiracy to kill in a foreign country as well as kidnapping and aiding and abetting kidnapping.
Iglesias-Villegas reportedly joined the Sinaloa Cartel in 2008, when the group was led by the notorious drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera. Grim Reaper was the head of a group of Sinaloa Cartel sicarios or assassins until his arrest in 2012.
The Attorney's Office Western District of Texas said Iglesias-Villegas' presence has allowed the Sinaloa Cartel to control the drug corridor in Juarez that led to the successful import of cocaine and marijuana into the U.S.
Chous is reportedly a long-time member of the Sinaloa Cartel under its leader Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada-Garcia. He allegedly assisted in the security of stash houses where thousands of kilos of cocaine were unloaded from tanker trucks and then reloaded with weapons and money returning to Culiacan in Sinaloa, Mexico.
With the former policeman's involvement, the Sinaloa Cartel successfully imported thousands of kilos of cocaine, worth over $1 billion, into the U.S.
Grim Reaper and Chous were among 24 alleged Sinaloa Cartel members indicted in 2012 over their roles in the group. The other defendants included El Chapo and El Mayo, who allegedly took over the Mexican drug cartel after El Chapo was arrested in Mexico in 2016.
"This investigation resulted in the seizure of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine, thousands of pounds of marijuana in cities throughout the United States... Law Enforcement also took possession of millions of dollars in drug proceeds which were destined to be returned to the Cartel in Mexico," officials said in the statement.
"Agents and officers likewise seized hundreds of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition intended to be smuggled into Mexico to assist the (Sinaloa) Cartel's battle to take control of Juarez and the local drug trafficking corridors," the officials added.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas, Chous is scheduled to be sentenced on February 10, 2022, while sentencing for Grim Reaper is set for February 11, 2022.
Sinaloa Cartel Official 'El Jaguar' Arrested by Mexico's Army
On Friday, the Mexican military has captured a top Sinaloa Cartel operative known as "El Jaguar" in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Reports said an army unit based in Madera, Chihuahua encountered a firefight with members of a cell of the Sinaloa cartel in La Norteña town that led to the capture of Francisco Arvizu Marquez, alias "El Jaguar," or "The Jaguar."
El Jaguar, who sustained gunshot wounds, was taken into custody with three other alleged drug traffickers. In a statement, the Defense Ministry said the Sinaloa Cartel official was wanted on charges of organized crime and murder.
It further noted that El Jaguar was also considered one of the main "generators of violence" in western Chihuahua. State authorities and U.S. security experts noted that El Jaguar led the Sinaloa cartel's Gente Nueva del Jaguar cell.
The group was allegedly involved in a two-year war with Roberto Gonzalez Montes, alias "El Mudo," or "The Mute," of the La Linea cartel to control drug trafficking, illegal logging, and gasoline theft, among others, in western Chihuahua.
Local news reports said El Jaguar remained in a Juarez hospital under army custody as of Monday. He was being treated for gunshot wounds to the right shoulder and forearm. El Jaguar was reported to be flown to a maximum-security prison.
Sinaloa Cartel Boss 'El Chapo' Appeals 2019 Conviction
A lawyer representing El Chapo on Monday urged a U.S. appeals court to overturn the former Sinaloa cartel leader's conviction, citing jury bias and the conditions at a "Supermax" facility.
El Chapo's defense attorney Marc Fernich argued that the conviction of the El Chapo should be sent back to lower courts for further evaluation or overturned completely because his client deserved a new trial.
Fernich cited two reasons for the appeal. First was the conditions and treatment that El Chapo experienced inside the now-closed Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, New York.
In Fernich's words, the Sinaloa cartel leader's "indefinite pre-conviction solitary confinement in a modern dungeon." The second reason, Fernich said, was a news report that during deliberations, jurors were exposed to salacious claims barred from the trial.
It included a claim that El Chapo had drugged and sexually abused teenage girls he referred to as "vitamins" that gave him energy, which the Sinaloa cartel leader's lawyer has denied.
El Chapo, 64, is serving a life sentence in prison after being found guilty of all 10 federal charges he faced in 2019. The Sinaloa cartel boss is currently being held in Colorado's Supermax, the most secure federal prison in the U.S.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written By: Joshua Summers
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