32 in U.S., Mexico Accused of Running Sinaloa Cartel Gold-for-Cash Money-Laundering Scheme

February 13, 2015

Fox News Latino, 2/13/2015

goldThirty-two people from the United States and Mexico are accused of running a multistate gold-for-cash scheme that laundered more than $100 million in U.S. profits for Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa drug cartel, a complaint unsealed this week in federal court in Chicago says.

The cartel associates used cash from narcotics sales to purchase scrap and fine gold — including from Chicago-area jewelers — then sent it to metal refineries in Florida and California; plants sometimes transferred payments for the gold directly to Mexico, the complaint says.

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Mexico Say Expects Kingpin Extradition Request From U.S. Soon

January 21, 2015

Reuters, 1/20/2015

handcuffsMexico’s attorney general said on Tuesday he expects the United States to submit an extradition request soon for drug lord Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, who was Mexico’s most wanted man until his capture last February.

“I’m aware they’re going to ask me, and it won’t be a problem to do all the paperwork to determine at the time what will be most convenient,” Attorney General Jesus Murillo told reporters in Mexico City of the U.S. extradition request.

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11 killed in cartel clash in Mexican border state

September 29, 2014

09/29/14 Associated Press

chihuahua-mapProsecutors in the Mexican border state of Chihuahua say 11 people died in a confrontation between rival cartels fighting for control of turf in the Tarahumara mountain range. The state’s Attorney General’s Office said Sunday in a statement that the fighting took place on Friday in the municipality of Guachochi. At the scene, officials found more than 1,000 bullet casings and four burned SUVs.

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Sinaloa drug cartel member pleads guilty to drug charges in N.H.

September 17, 2014

09/15/14 Portland Press Herald

hands in handcuffsCONCORD, N.H. – The U.S. Attorney’s office in New Hampshire says a member of the Sinaloa drug cartel has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Jesus Gonzalo Palazuelos Soto of Mexico was in federal court in Concord on Monday. Prosecutors said he was arrested in Spain in 2012, where he was to monitor the delivery of 346 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a shipping container. Prosecutors say the delivery resulted from negotiations between members of the cartel, allegedly led by Joaquin Guzman, and undercover FBI agents posing as members of an organized crime syndicate. Guzman, known as “El Chapo,” was arrested earlier this year in Mexico.

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Inside Mexico’s feared Sinaloa drugs cartel

May 16, 2014

Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán

BBC News, 05/15/14

Some of Mexico’s leading drugs traffickers have been killed or captured in recent months, including the head of the powerful Sinaloa cartel. But inside the secretive world of this feared criminal organisation it’s clear that it remains as active as ever. Hector is not what you might expect a drugs smuggler for the Sinaloa cartel to look like. There is no flashy truck and chrome-plated Kalashnikov. Instead, the spry 68-year-old drives a tiny Honda and runs a small convenience store.

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Mexico: Convicted Trafficker Now Aiding U.S. Officials

April 11, 2014

handcuffsThe New York Times, 04/11/14

The United States attorney in Chicago said Thursday that a top member of the Sinaloa gang had been cooperating with the authorities since he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges a year ago. The man, Jesús Vicente Zambada Niebla, who was arrested in Mexico in 2009, is the son of Ismael Zambada García, believed to be one of the leaders of the Sinaloa gang.

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After ‘El Chapo’ arrest, focus turns to next Sinaloa drug boss

March 4, 2014

handcuffsLA Times, 3/2/14

With the arrest of Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the leadership of Mexico’s largest and most sophisticated illegal drug operation has probably transferred to Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, a 66-year-old former farmer with a knack for business — and maintaining a low profile. But Zambada is likely to discover, much as Guzman did, that inheriting the throne of top capo comes with a series of complications worthy of a Shakespearean king.

Like his predecessor, Zambada is a country boy made good who hails from the badlands of Sinaloa, the traditional heart of Mexican drug-smuggling culture. Though he has enjoyed less publicity than Guzman, he has long been considered a high-level target for U.S. and Mexican authorities, who have managed to nab a number of his family members and close associates in recent years. Now that pressure is likely to increase substantially.

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