EXCLUSIVE: Leaders of Gulf Cartel’s Migrant Smuggling Operations into Texas Unmasked

Human Smugglers move migrants across Rio Grande in raft. (File Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)
File Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

REYNOSA, Tamaulipas – Two local leaders of the Gulf Cartel control the smuggling of migrants and asylum seekers into Texas for profit. Breitbart News was given exclusive access to police and military intelligence identifying the men and their roles as fierce enforcers — detailing their operations to smuggle thousands from Reynosa, Camargo, and Miguel Aleman into Texas daily.

In recent months, the Gulf Cartel has smuggled a large number of migrants which the U.S. Border Patrol arrests an average of 1,000 to 1,500 per day in McAllen. The criminal organization charges $300 to $500 per person to cross the waters of the Rio Grande. The scheme is low-risk-high-reward for the cartel.

Intelligence obtained by Breitbart News reveals the flow of migrants is controlled by two brothers, Hector “La Mimi or M-1” Sanchez Rivera and Ernesto “La Mierda or M-22 or El Cuate” Sanchez Rivera, the top two enforcers of the Gulf Cartel’s Reynosa faction aka “Los Metros.”

Law enforcement sources consulted by Breitbart News identify Héctor Sanchez Rivera as a dangerous operator who oversees the Gulf Cartel’s security and enforcement operations in Reynosa. Known for his ruthlessness, La Mimi is linked to numerous kidnappings, extortion rackets, murders, and carjacking. His brother, La Mierda, is the current head of the cartel’s gunmen — who act as enforcers and are tasked with keeping rival factions or authorities at bay.

Intelligence notes that La Mimi does not have a criminal history in Mexico, however, in 2016 he was arrested in Starr County, Texas, in connection with a human smuggling case. Authorities charged him with one count of illegal entry and sentenced him to 15 days behind bars before deportation. After returning to Mexico, La Mimi restarted his criminal activity with the Gulf Cartel.

La Mimi Arrest by ildefonso ortiz on Scribd

The man known as El Cuate or La Mierda has a lengthy criminal history in Mexico beginning in 2012. He was jailed three times with the most recent charge for armed carjacking. He was sent to the state prison in Reynosa in 2016.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Border / Cartel Chronicles. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Border / Cartel Chronicles. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.

“A.C. Del Angel” and Tony Aranda from the Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report. 

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