Gulf Cartel’s Head of Migrant Smuggling Was in U.S. Custody, But Released After 15 Days

Border Patrol agents arrest suspected illegal immigrants in Rio Grande Valley Sector. (File Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)
File Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

McALLEN, Texas — One of the men suspected of controlling the smuggling of migrants for the Gulf Cartel was previously arrested by U.S. authorities and released 15 days later on a single immigration charge. The man is considered one of the cartel’s most violent enforcers in Reynosa, Tamaulipas.

As Breitbart News exclusively reported, Hector “La Mimi or M-22” Sanchez Rivera is currently a leading enforcer for the Gulf Cartel along with his brother, Ernesto. They are directly responsible for controlling the smuggling of migrants from Gulf Cartel territory in Mexico to South Texas. The duo fostered a reputation for violence and is linked to numerous executions, kidnappings, carjacks, and extortion schemes in Reynosa.

Local authorities and U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested Sanchez Rivera in Rio Grande City on April 26, 2016, moments after he and a group of men crossed the border river via raft. Court documents revealed that Sanchez told federal agents he was a Mexican national without lawful presence in the U.S. Despite being a Gulf Cartel member, prosecutors only charged Sanchez Rivera with one count of illegal entry.

La Mimi Arrest by on Scribd

One day after his arrest, Sanchez Rivera went before a magistrate judge in McAllen and pleaded guilty to the charge. Sanchez Rivera was sentenced to 15 days behind bars and was subsequently turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation.

La Mimi Sentence by ildefonso ortiz on Scribd

Back in Mexico, Sanchez Rivera continued to climb the ranks of the Gulf Cartel. Currently, La Mimi and brother Ernesto lead the cartel’s enforcement operations in Reynosa.

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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