Sinaloa Cartel Official 'El Inge' Arrested in Fentanyl Laboratory Producing Millions of 'Blue' Pills in Mexico
A Sinaloa Cartel leader was arrested in a facility at Culiacan city, Mexico that included a laboratory producing millions of fentanyl pills, officials said.
Mexico's Attorney General's Office announced Thursday the October 28 arrest of Sinaloa Cartel cell leader Armando "El Inge" Bátiz Camarena, along with four other members.
The five suspects were reportedly taken into custody without firing a shot and charged after appearing before a judge on Tuesday.
According to Daily Mail, El Inge was in charge of the Sinaloa Cartel's monthly production of 70 kilos of fentanyl paste converted into 70 million blue fentanyl pills. This volume of fentanyl pills is reportedly enough to kill as many as 30 million users a month of the addictive drug.
Mexico Officials Raided Sinaloa Cartel's Fentanyl Laboratory
The Ministry of Defense said the army, National Guard, and Attorney General's Office personnel raided the facility that included five buildings, including a laboratory and a distribution center.
Officials said the bust seized around 118 kilos of fentanyl worth nearly $50 million. It was reportedly the largest seizure of pure fentanyl in Mexico so far, Mexico News Daily reported.
Authorities also confiscated two kilos of Inositol, a drug mixed with the synthetic powder; four bags of fentanyl paste precursor; five firearms and ammo; and two vehicles.
They also recovered around $14,660 in U.S. currency, tens of thousands of pesos, and a small number of Venezuelan bolivars.
Fentanyl, a powerful opioid, has been the leading cause of overdose deaths in the U.S. It is considered to be 50 times stronger than heroin.
Another Sinaloa Cartel cell leader identified as Francisco "El Jaguar" Arvizu Marquez was arrested in Madera, Chihuahua after a shootout with the military on October 23.
El Jaguar, who sustained gunshot wounds, was taken into custody with three other alleged drug traffickers. The Ministry of Defense said last month that seizures of fentanyl have been on the rise in the past year.
The department noted that the government had confiscated 1,225 kilos from the start of the year to September 21. The department said it was a 16.5 percent increase over the same period in 2020.
Sinaloa Cartel and Its Boss 'El Chapo'
The Sinaloa Cartel is considered one of Mexico's most influential drug cartels, with much of the northwest areas as its territory.
The group was founded in the late 1980s and headed by the notorious drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. According to BBC, "El Chapo" or "Short" was once ranked as one of the world's richest men.
Under El Chapo's leadership, the Sinaloa Cartel earned its reputation through violence and outfought several rival groups.
Officials said the Sinaloa Cartel became the biggest supplier of illegal drugs to the U.S. during El Chapo's reign. Its revenue from drug sales ranged from $3 billion to $39 billion annually.
In 1993, El Chapo was arrested and sentenced to more than 20 years in prison. However, various reports said he continued to be the key figure in the Sinaloa Cartel, even gaining full control of the group in 1995.
El Chapo escaped from prison in 2001 and was apprehended again in 2014 in Sinaloa, Mexico. He again escaped from prison through a tunnel the following year.
In January 2016, Mexican officials announced that El Chapo had been captured again. He was extradited to the U.S. the next year.
El Chapo was sentenced to spend the rest of his days in the ADX Florence "supermax" prison after being sentenced to life imprisonment in 2019.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: A Secret Look at a Mexican Cartel's Low-Tech, Multimillion-Dollar Fentanyl Operation - From PBS NewsHour
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