Indictment Reveals Inner Workings of Mexican Sinaloa Cartel

Mexico Fights Cartels
REUTERS/Eliana Aponte

A recently unsealed U.S. indictment targeting 60 high ranking members of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel revealed the inner working of one of the world’s most powerful crime syndicates.

The indictment was handed down by a Grand Jury in the Southern District Of California naming famous capo Ismael “El Mayo Zambada, his sons Ismael “Mayito Flaco” Zambada Sicairos and Ismael “Mayito Gordo” Zambada Imperial as well as Ivan Archibaldo  “El Chapito” Guzman, the son of jailed leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. According to a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, El Chapo Guzman was considered the most powerful drug lord in the world until his arrest in February 2014.

While El Mayo Zambada remains at large and is the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, his son Ismael “El Mayito Gordo” Zambada Imperial as well as 57 other defendants named in the indictment have been arrested by Mexican or U.S. authorities. Breitbart Texas initially reported the capture of Zambada Imperial.

According to the indictment obtained by Breitbart Texas, the Sinaloa Cartel moved ton quantities of chemical precursors from Asia to Mexico and some countries in Central and South America. Once the precursors were used to manufacture mass quantities of drugs they were then smuggled into the U.S. using vehicles, trucks, boats and underground tunnels.  The Sinaloa Cartel smuggled methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine and marijuana.

The investigation began in 2011 when authorities targeted a small-scale drug operation in National City and Chula Vista. The main target of that investigation, Jose Luis Iglesias and several members of his crew were indicted. While Iglesias has not been arrested his crew was eventually convicted, however agents learned that the small time operation was actually part of the Sinaloa Cartel. The case took on a world scale as the scope of the cartels operation became evident.

While working the case, authorities arrested another of El Mayo’s sons named Serafin Zambada who is expected to be sentenced in May for drug conspiracy charges. Another high profile arrest tied to the case was the arrest of José Rodrigo “Chino Antrax” Aréchiga Gamboa, who worked as Zambada’s top lieutenant and was arrested in the Netherlands and then extradited by the Dutch government in July 2014. Arechiga Gamboa remains in custody awaiting trial for drug conspiracy charges. He became a regional legend in Mexico for his role as a ruthless cartel enforcer. El Chino Antrax as Arechiga Gamboa is referred to in many folk ballads in his honor led a group of highly trained assassins called Los Antrax.

The Sinaloa Cartel has managed to remain the dominant criminal organization in Mexico focusing primarily on drug trafficking. While violent and ruthless, the criminal organization has managed to distance itself from other types of crime such as kidnapping for ransom, extortion and robbery which have become a popular moneymaker for other cartels such as Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel.

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Breitbart Texas provides the indictment below:


Indictment of Ismael El Mayo Zambada by ildefonso ortiz


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