Guzmán Loera is facing two consecutive life term sentences, if convicted on all federal charges, according to feds.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
January 20, 2017
Brooklyn, New York – On Friday, Joaquín Archivaldo “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, 59, was arraigned on a 17-count superseding indictment before U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein in a federal court in Brooklyn. If convicted on all counts, Guzmán Loera is facing two consecutive life term sentences in a federal prison. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan. Following his extradition on Thursday to the United States on related charges filed in the Western District of Texas and Southern District of California, the Mexican government approved a request by the United States to proceed with prosecution on the charges filed against Guzmán Loera in the Eastern District of New York on May 11, 2016 as long as he wouldn’t face the death penalty, according to a joint press release by Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates and U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers of the Eastern District of New York; U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida; Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Executive Associate Director Peter T. Edge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Assistant Director In Charge William F. Sweeney of the FBI New York Field Office: U.S. Marshal Charles G. Dunne of the Eastern District of New York U.S. Marshals Service and Commissioner of the New York City Police Department James P. O’Neill.
The charges in the indictment filed against Guzmán Loera in the Eastern District of New York will be prosecuted jointly by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Brooklyn and Miami and the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section of the Criminal Division.
The federal indictment alleges that between January 1989 and December 2014, Guzmán Loera led a continuing criminal enterprise responsible for importing into the United States and distributing massive amounts of illegal narcotics and conspiring to murder persons who posed a threat to Guzmán Loera’s narcotics enterprise.
Guzmán Loera is also charged with using firearms in relation to his drug trafficking and money laundering relating to the bulk smuggling from the United States to Mexico of more than $14 billion in cash proceeds from narcotics sales throughout the United States and Canada. As part of this investigation, nearly 200,000 kilograms of cocaine linked to the Sinaloa Cartel have been seized. The indictment seeks forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits.
“Guzmán Loera is accused of using violence, including torture and murder, to maintain an iron-fisted grip on the drug trade across the U.S./Mexico border that invaded our community and others across the country,” said U.S. Attorney Capers. “As a result, Guzmán Loera made billions of illicit dollars. This prosecution demonstrates that we will apply all available resources to dismantle the leadership of dangerous drug cartels, wherever they operate, and will not rest until we have done so.”
“Guzmán Loera is accused of terrorizing communities all over the world,” said U.S. Attorney Ferrer. “With this prosecution we stand united, with our domestic and foreign partners, in our fight against transnational criminal organizations that profit billions of dollars off of the toxic spread of illicit drugs in our global communities. Today’s announcement demonstrates that international borders do not protect narcotics traffickers from criminal prosecution. We will continue to work together to combat narco-trafficking and the cartels that infect our streets, with the long-arm of the law.”
As detailed in the superseding indictment and other court filings, Guzmán Loera and Ismael Zambada Garcia, as leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, conspired to import more than 200 metric tons of cocaine into the United States. The Sinaloa Cartel shared drug transportation routes and obtained drugs from various Colombian drug trafficking organizations, in particular, the Colombian Norte del Valle Cartel, the Don Lucho Organization, and the Cifuentes-Villa Organization. The cocaine was transported from Colombia via planes, boats, and submarines into ports the enterprise controlled in Southern Mexico and other locations throughout Central America. From there, it was shipped through Mexico to distribution hubs in the United States.
As one of the principal leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, Guzmán Loera allegedly also oversaw the cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana smuggling activities by the Sinaloa Cartel to wholesale distributors in Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York, as well as in various locations in Arizona, Los Angeles and elsewhere. The billions of dollars generated from drug sales in the United States were then clandestinely transported back to Mexico.
To evade law enforcement and protect the enterprise’s narcotics distribution activities, Guzmán Loera and the Sinaloa Cartel allegedly employed various means including the use of “sicarios,” or hit men, who carried out hundreds of acts of violence in Mexico, including murder, to collect drug debts, silence potential witnesses, and prevent public officials from taking action against the cartel. To intimidate and eliminate his rivals, during the Sinaloa Cartel’s internecine war for territory with the Juarez Cartel from approximately 2007 through 2011, Guzmán Loera directed these assassins to kill thousands of drug trafficking competitors, during which many of his victims were beheaded.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrea Goldbarg, Hiral Mehta, Patricia Notopoulos, Gina Parlovecchio and Michael Robotti from the Eastern District of New York; Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam Fels, Lynn Kirkpatrick and Kurt Lunkenheimer from the Southern District of Florida; and Trial Attorneys Amanda Liskamm, Anthony Nardozzi and Michael Lang of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section.
The case was investigated by the DEA, ICE and the FBI, in cooperation with Mexican and Colombian law enforcement authorities. Substantial assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Northern District of Illinois, the Western District of Texas, the Southern District of New York, the Southern District of California, and the District of New Hampshire. The Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs also provided assistance in bringing Guzmán Loera to the United States to face charges. The investigative efforts in this case were coordinated with the Department of Justice’s Special Operations Division, comprising agents, analysts, and attorneys from the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, DEA, FBI, ICE, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, and the New York State Police, according to the joint press release by Acting U.S. Attorney General Yates and others.
El Chapo Detention memo (PDF): http://bit.ly/2jhHwtv
El Chapo Indictment (PDF): http://bit.ly/2j4Fi2K