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Sinaloa Cartel’s Top Enforcer Pleads Guilty in US Court

After reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors, the top enforcer for the powerful Sinaloa Cartel pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges for his role in protecting what is considered to be Mexico’s most powerful narcotics smuggling empire.

Rather than go to trial, Jose Rodrigo “El Chino Antrax” Arechiga Gamboa pleaded guilty in a San Diego federal courtroom this week before U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw.

As previously reported by Breitbart Texas, Arechiga Gamboa was the top lieutenant and enforcer for Ismael “El Mayo Zambada,” the current leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, who remains at large.

The Sinaloa Cartel is described in court records as a criminal syndicate that that operates across multiple continents, importing large quantities of drugs into Mexico from Asia, Central and South America. The drugs are then shipped to the United States using cargo aircraft, private planes, various ships, submarines cars, trucks, rail-cars, and other viable means of transportation.

Court records obtained by Breitbart Texas reveal that Arechiga Gamboa pleaded guilty to one count of cocaine and marijuana trafficking, rather than waiting to be indicted.

As part of his plea agreement, Gamboa admitted that he directed and participated in acts of violence and intimidation against rival cartel members.  Arechiga was the leader of the enforcement group called Los Antrax, which provided security for drug shipments and cartel enforcement operations.

According to information released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Arechiga Gamboa ended up becoming one of the highest ranking leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, assuming the identity of a deceased individual named Norberto Sicairos Garcia to throw law enforcement off his trail. The cartel boss also underwent plastic surgery, and tried to alter his fingerprints.

Authorities caught up with Arechiga Gamboa on December 30, 2013, when he flew from Mexico City to Amsterdam, where he was arrested by Interpol and Netherlands agents at the request of U.S. law enforcement.

“Chino Antrax is one of the highest-ranking Sinaloa Cartel kingpins ever prosecuted in the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy in a prepared statement. “While we know that the world’s most powerful drug syndicate continues to operate, we also know that it is under intense pressure after a succession of high impact high profile arrests and indictments of the organization’s highest-ranking players.”

Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter and on Facebook.

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