Shared February 25, 2019
Leather Backpack: http://bit.ly/2BQqldB
oaquin, El Chapo, Guzman has been convicted in a Brooklyn courtroom on all 10 counts he faced and will be sentenced to a mandatory life no parole.
I hate to say I told you so, but…. In a nutshell, I said that El Chapo was, in addition to being guilty of the specific conspiracy charges he was faced with, the victim of an internal power struggle within the Sinaloa Cartel.... And that was the only reason he was in custody. Not so coincidentally, El Chapo’s defense team proposed the same theory.
I proposed the theory that Isamel “El Mayo” Zamabada, whose own son and brother were two of the primary witnesses against El Chapo, had made a deal with the Mexican government to get El Chapo captured, convicted, and imprisoned in the United States- in return, his son would walk away with a relatively light sentence, considering his crimes, and El Mayo would be free to become the head of the Sinaloa Cartel and the chief Narco in Mexico. For those who don’t know, El Mayo had been El Chapo’s equal in running the Sinaloa Cartel, despite El Chapo’s much larger name recognition.
In fact, the opening lines of the Federal indictment that brought El Chapo to Brooklyn, says exactly this.
One of the best stories, because it sums up the lunacy- and the iron will- and the astonishing sums of money and vast armies of people controlled by El Chapo and the Sinaloa Cartel was told by Juan Carlos Ramirez. Ramirez was sentenced to a relatively lenient 25 year sentence in the U.S. back in 2010. I saw lenient, because Ramirez admitted to ordering at least 150 murders and was a leader of the North Valley Cartel- the dominant criminal group in Colombia right now; Ramirez cut his teeth with Cali Cartel back in the mid 90’s- becoming it’s youngest boss.
For awhile, Ramirez was Sinaloa’s primary cocaine supplier. One particular load - of a shocking 20 thousand kilos- had a strange journey from Colombia to the streets of America. Yes, I said 20 thousand kilos. At 20 thousand each wholesale, which is actually a low estimate these days- that would be $400 million dollars. Cooked up and broken down into dime rocks- who knows, maybe 2 and half or 3 billion dollars street value.
So the boat carrying the 20 thousand bricks is heading from the Colombian coast to Sinaloa province in Mexico- if you didn’t know that’s where the name of the Cartel comes from- and the Captain of the boat quote “...started to see ghosts everywhere and American Coast Guard everywhere, and he sunk the ship...” Juan Carlos Ramirez testified on the stand in Brooklyn. That’s right. The captain of the vessel was snorting coke while smuggling it… I imagine that once the paranoia kicks in, and you really do have 45 thousand pounds of pure coca with you it is a pretty frightening feeling. So the Captain dumped it into the Pacific Ocean!
Brings new meaning to the term- don’t get high on your own supply.
But wait, there’s more. The contraband had been so expertly packaged that the ki’s were actually recovered by teams of divers sent out by the Sinaloa Cartel--- an entire year! After they had been dumped.
No mention was made at the trial of what happened to the Captain, in case you were curious.
Another shocking story involving a boat, told by Vicente Zambada, the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Garcia- who was Chapo’s partner at the top of the Sinaloa Cartel.. Turns out “El Mayo’s” son, Vicente, who has been in custody since ‘09 I think, made a pretty sweet deal with the American government- turning over nearly 1 and a half billion dollars and testifying against El Chapo- in exchange. Vicente, at one point the head of logistics for the entire Sinaloa Cartel- will be out of prison in just a few more years and his father, it is safe to assume will be the undisputed Narco boss in Mexico now that the new President has decided to not arrest the country’s biggest drug traffickers.
Some play checkers, others play chess.
Another of the most interesting plotlines was that of Pedro and Margarito Flores, the twin brothers from Chicago who sold so much cocaine and heroin that they would meet personally with El Chapo and Vicente Zambada to coordinate shipments and send billions of dollars back to Mexico. The Flores brothers became two of the key informants against El Chapo and will be out of prison soon, having served a dozen years or so. Their wives already have a book out, named…. “Cartel Wives” Before they turned on El Chapo, he actually saved their freedom when they were kidnapped, along with their wives, by the a rogue element of the Mexican Federal police while at a strip club negotiating a deal with Chinese chemical suppliers that would have netted the twin brothers $24 million in profit on one deal.
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