MCALLEN, Texas — A top ranking member of the Sinaloa Cartel, who worked for legendary El Chapo Guzman, has been found guilty of brokering massive drug shipments to Europe and to the U.S. using shipping container ships. The operation included a meeting between agents and the fabled drug lord where he agreed to provide ton quantities of drugs to undercover agents.
After a five day federal trial jurors convicted 41-year-old Rafael Humberto “El Rafi” Celaya Valenzuela, an attorney and financial advisor to Sinaloa top cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo Guzman Loera of several drug conspiracy charges to import ton quantities of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, according to court records obtained by Breitbart Texas.
Celaya was caught in an undercover investigation carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) from early 2010 until August 2012 where agent posed as members of a European crime syndicate looking to expand their business operation. Agents used video cameras and microphones to record the meetings in Miami, Boston, Madrid, Spain and in Portsmouth and New Castle New Hampshire.
Information provided to Breitbart Texas by the U.S. Department of Justice shows that the undercover agents even had a face to face meeting with El Chapo Guzman in the mountains of Sinaloa and he personally had various phone calls with the agents in order to finalize the negotiations. El Chapo agreed to get various drugs from Venezuela, Belize, Panama and Colombia and get them to the agents posing as European drug bosses.
Sinaloa Cartel members would provide shipping containers full of drugs to their European counterparts at various ports both in the U.S. and in Europe. On July 27, 2012 Sinaloa Cartel members delivered more than 750 pounds of cocaine to the Spanish port of Algeciras. The drugs were smuggled in a shipping container that was supposed to contain boxes with glassware. FBI agents seized the cocaine and just days later on August 7, 2012 they arrested Celaya and El Chapo’s first cousin Manuel Gutierrez Guzman along with other top Sinaloa members in Madrid Spain before extraditing them to the U.S. to face charges. While Valenzuela fought the charges and went to trial, the rest of the cartel members arrested in the operation pleaded guilty to the charges; they all face a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Sinaloa’s legendary boss Joaquin Guzman Loera was arrested by the Mexican military in the resort town of Mazatlán Sinaloa in February of this year and remains in prison in Mexico. In addition to the charges in Mexico, Guzman is also facing multiple charges in the U.S.
Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter @ildefonsoortiz