Sen. Grassley: Sinaloa Cartel Killed DEA Cooperators While Agency Played Politics with Indictments

Sinaloa's state police officers work during the dismantle of one of the three clandestine
File Photo: RASHIDE FRIAS/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration slow-walked an investigation into the Sinaloa Cartel faction of Los Chapitos and played politics with other federal agencies, according to U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Justice. The senator claimed that the DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s office delayed investigations and cooperation with other agencies while the drug lords killed two cooperators in Mexico and continued spreading their drug empire and fentanyl distribution.

In a letter sent to U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, Grassley asked several questions about the matter and requested information about the death of two DEA cooperators in Mexico. The senator also asked why prosecutors allowed the agency to continue their investigation even after that. The Iowa senator also asked about measures to ensure impartiality and objectivity in reviewing DEA actions presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

As Breitbart Texas reported, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram announced a series of indictments against the Chapitos in April, naming several of their operators and accusing them of being behind the current Fentanyl crisis. At the time, Milgram claimed they had infiltrated the Sinaloa Cartel and had informants close to the Chapitos.

The letter by Grassley points to rivalries between agencies and notes that the DEA worked their own case against the Chapitos faction of the Sinaloa Cartel even though the FBI and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) already had an ongoing case in other districts. Grassley claimed that the DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office dissuaded the other agencies from looking into the Chapitos, pushed them away from their ongoing cases, and issued “stand down” orders.

The letter from Grassley dealt a heavy blow to the U.S. DEA’s claims of targeting Los Chapitos at a time when the criminal organization has seen unrivaled growth in Mexico and the United States.

“While an estimated 111,000 Americans died of drug overdoses,” Grassley said, “Administrator (Anne) Milgram appears to have coordinated more with the press than with other federal agencies to expose the cartels and crack down on these tragic overdose deaths.”

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at

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


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