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Tag: cartel

El Chapo’s Wife Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Helping Drug Kingpin Run Cartel

‘El Chapo’ Guzman

By Steve Neavling

The wife of convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was sentenced to three years in prison Tuesday for helping her husband run his cartel and aiding his 2015 escape from a Mexican prison.

Emma Coronel Aispuro, a 31-year-old former beauty queen, pleaded guilty on June 10 to three criminal counts, including conspiracy to traffic cocaine and money laundering.

Prosecutors said Coronel Aispuro was a co-conspirator in the activities of the Sinaloa Cartel.  

Guzman, the longtime head of the Sinaloa, was convicted in 2019 on drug conspiracy charges and sentenced to life in prison. 

Coronel helped Guzman ship drugs and evade capture and later was the main conspirator in the successful plot to break him out of the Altiplano prison in Mexico.  

The FBI’s Washington Field  Office led the investigation, with assistance from FBI Field Offices, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations. 

Cartel Doctor Accused of Helping Torture DEA Agent Runs Taco Restaurant in Guadalajara

Dr. Humberto Alvarez Machain, via Fox News screenshot.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Mexican cartel doctor accused of helping torture DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in the 1980s is running a taco restaurant in Guadalajara, Mexico, Fox News reports.

Dr. Humberto Alvarez Machain, allegedly a member of the Guadalajara Cartel at the time, is one of the suspects accused of helping kidnap, torture and murder Camarena in 1985.

Authorities believe Camarena was tortured for two to three days, and was kept alive by Mechain to prolong the pain.

DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

Mechain was charged and tried for his alleged role in the attack in 1992, but the case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence, Fox reported.

“Even to this day, there’s a current ongoing investigation into Kiki’s death,” Terrance Cole, a retired assistant regional director of the DEA in Mexico City, told Fox.

Fox reporter Lara Logan, who had a DEA escort, tracked down Mechain and confronted him at a sidewalk taco restaurant in Guadalajara.

“Did you have any involvement in Kiki’s death?” Logan asked Mechain.

“Absolutely not,” Mechain responded through an interpreter.

He continued, “Tell her that since I left the United States prison, I’ve been here at this little business and keep enjoying it … I feel very proud that I was able to get out of a federal court trial in the United States.”

Logan asked her DEA escort, “How come the doctor’s not in jail?”

He responded, “There’s no justice for anyone here. You’re lucky if you get justice for anyone.”

Border Patrol Agents Hospitalized After Attack in Laredo, Texas

 

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents were attacked and hospitalized by migrants trying to enter the country illegally in Laredo, Texas, on New Year’s Eve.

The National Border Patrol Council said an undisclosed number of agents sustained injuries ranging from broken bones and lacerations, and eight people were detained, KENS5-TV reports.

It’s unclear whether the attacks were related to an hours-long gun battle a day earlier between cartel members and Tamaulipas State Police in Nuevo Laredo. The shootout prompted Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar to warn residents on Facebooks to avoid crossing the border in to Mexico.

South Carolina Officers Thought They Were Protecting Drug Traffickers. It Was an FBI Sting

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Three South Carolina law enforcement officers who accepted money in exchange for protecting what they thought were drug traffickers have pleaded guilty.

Turns out, the Mexican drug-trafficking cartel was actually a group of undercover FBI agents.

A former Springfield officer and two Orangeburg County deputies pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges connected to the sting, The State reports.

The law enforcement officials believed they were guarding cartel trucks full of cash and drugs that were traveling south on Interstate 26 through Orangeburg County.

They were indicted in March.

Four other officers have pending cases.

The FBI used wiretaps and covert videos showing the officers agreed to “guard” the trucks.

Mexican Police Arrest Cartel Member Accused in 1985 Torture, Murder of DEA Agent

Ezequiel Godinez Cervantes is in custody.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mexican police arrested a 77-year-old man accused in the 1985 torturing and killing of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Salazar.

The arrest of Ezequiel Godinez Cervantes is major break in what was the first time a cartel had murdered a DEA agent.

DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

The FBI tipped off Mexican authorities that Godinez had crossed the border.

“The killing of an American agent on foreign soil was a huge game changer for the United States,” Gretchen Von Helms, a criminal defense attorney who has no ties to the case, told NBC 7 San Diego. “They were obviously very interested in protecting their agents down there and at the time the DEA operated in Mexico much like it was in the United States. You didn’t believe that you could be killed.”

Camarena was working undercover in February 1985 when he disappeared. His body was found a month later on a ranch in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Guadalajara Cartel accused the agent of taking down a marijuana plantation.

“His name has morphed into a symbol of the drug wars between the United States and Mexico,” Von Helms told NBC 7.

Camarena was depicted in the Netflix show “Narcos: Mexico.”

Godinez, who also is accused of killing two Americans he mistook for DEA agents, was handed over to immigration officials for planned extradition to the U.S., where he will be charged.

Sinaloa Cartel Paid $1M a Month to Bribe Mexican Officials, Ex-Trafficker Testifies in El Chapo Trial

‘El Chapo’ Guzman

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

How much did it cost to bribe Mexican officials to run one of the world’s largest drug-trafficking empires?

The Sinaloa Cartel dished out as much as $1 million a month in bribes to police and military officials, according to Vicente Zambada Niebla, who testified during the trial of alleged drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, The New York Times reports

Zambada is the son of Ismael Zambada García, one of the cartel’s leaders. 

El Chapo has pleaded not guilty to charges of international drug trafficking and conspiracy to murder rivals.

Convicted Drug Lord Re-Sentenced in Murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Convicted drug lord Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo was re-sentenced by a Mexican court to 37 years in prison and a reparation payment equivalent to $1.2 million.

Felix Gallardo, who was considered the godfather of Mexican drug smuggling and the co-founder of the Guadalajara cartel, had previously been sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena.

Some of those convicted in the murder had filed appeals.

Rafael Caro Quintero, who was released from prison in 2013 following an appeals court decision to overturn his conviction, is to be re-sentenced. He remains at large, but a warrant has been issued for his arrest. 

New Details Emerge of Border Patrol Agent Accused of Helping Mexican Cartel

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When authorities found a headless body floating near South Padre island in Texas, the investigation led them to a Border Patrol agent accused of helping a Mexican cartel smuggle drugs and weapons across the border.

Agent John Luna is accused of helping his brothers.

New details have emerged, including that investigators said they have found a “treasure trove” of evidence at Luna’s mother-in-law’s house, the Associated Press reports. 

Discovered in a safe at the home were nearly $90,000 in cash and a kilo of cocaine.

Luna, a 31-year-old Iraq War veteran, is accused of capital murder in the death of a mean that was considered a possible snitch.

His attorney, Carlos A. Garcia, claims Luna had nothing to do with the scheme.

“This is a clear-cut case of guilt by association,” Garcia said.

Prosecutors declined to discuss details of the case, but said the safe contained Luna’s Border Patrol badge.

“Drug use and abuse in America is fueling the Mexican cartels, and because of the money and the weapons that go south, we get all the violence,” Garza said. “This case represents that.”

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