Yesterday, we wrote about Shorty Guzman being named Public Enemy #1 in Chicago.
Today, we’ve got more on his drug cartel.
The brutal violence that you see in Mexico (beheadings, dismemberments, or bodies dissolved in vats of alkali) is largely related to the war between Sinaloa and its main rival – the Zetas. There is also some evidence that in January 2008 Sinaloa split into a number of warring factions, which caused additional drug violence in Mexico. This drug war, which we now have evidence is coming to Chicago, has claimed more than 50,000 lives in less than six years in Mexico.
Since February 2010, the major cartels in Mexico have aligned themselves into two factions: one integrated the Juarez Cartel, Tijuana Cartel and los Zetas. The other faction integrated the Sinaloa Cartel and Gulf Cartel. In addition, Sinaloa affiliated itself with the Knights Templar in Michoacan and Jalisco New Generation Cartel. (see attached map) Not surprisingly, Sinaloa is alleged to work in collusion with the Mexican federal police and military. According to some reports, Mexican government was helping the Sinaloa Cartel to take control of the Juarez Valley area and to destroy other cartels, especially the Juarez Cartel. Juarez former police commander even claimed the entire department was working for the Sinaloa Cartel and helping it to fight other groups.
On 20 August 2009, the DEA dismembered a large Mexican drug operation in Chicago, and uncovered a major distribution network operated by the Flores crew led by twin brothers Margarito and Pedro Flores that operated out of the city. The drug operation allegedly brought 1.5 to 2 tons of cocaine every month to Chicago from Mexico and shipped millions of dollars south of the border. The Blaze published two major stories on the Chicago cartel operations (see the links at the end). The story below is largely copied/paraphrased from one of them:
Jack Riley, special agent in charge for the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), told The Blaze that drug cartels have designated the city as one of the main U.S. hubs of operations and their increasing presence in the city has contributed to the spiking murder rate.
Riley said the Mexican cartels are “the most organized, well-funded, vicious criminal organizations that we’ve ever seen,” adding that traditional mobsters don’t compare to the ruthless effectiveness of the Zeta and Sinaloa cartels.
“[Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo”] Guzman is the new Al Capone, or Scarface, to Chicago,” Riley told The Blaze. “His ability to corrupt, his ability to enforce his sanctions and to really do with an endless supply of revenue is in my opinion far greater than older Italian organized crime.”
The cartels have the “perfect cover,” according to Riley, as they employ more than 100,000 “documented” local gang members to push cocaine, marijuana, heroin and methamphetamines in the streets while they blend into the sizable Hispanic crowd.
Right now, at least three major Mexican cartels are fighting for control of billions of dollars worth of marijuana, cocaine and heroin in Chicago. That includes the ruthless Zetas and the powerful Sinaloa cartel, run by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, arguably the most wanted man in North America, and perhaps the entire world.
However, the influence of drug cartels is seemingly overlooked repeatedly by the media when it reports on Chicago’s crime rate and rampant drug-related violence.
Riley went on to confirm that the Sinaloa Cartel has perhaps the strongest presence in Chicago of all the Mexican drug cartels. “I was a boss for DEA at the Mexican border for several years prior to being brought up here, and one of the things that we’ve stressed since I’ve been up here is this: we have to operate as if we are on the border.”
Riley also said federal law enforcement agencies have been largely successful in extraditing a number high-ranking members of the cartel to the United States to stand trial, most notably, Guzman’s so-called “logistics coordinator,” Vicente Jesus Zamaba-Niebla. Zambada-Niebla was arrested in 2009 by the Mexican Army and extradited to Chicago to face federal drug charges. During his initial court proceedings, Zambada-Niebla made a number of explosive allegations about Operation “Fast and Furious” and an alleged immunity deal between the leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel, the DEA and other federal agencies.
Zambada-Niebla claims that under a “divide and conquer” strategy, the U.S. helped finance and arm the Sinaloa Cartel through Operation Fast and Furious in exchange for information that allowed the DEA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal agencies to take down rival drug cartels. The Sinaloa Cartel was allegedly permitted to traffic massive amounts of drugs across the U.S. border from 2004 to 2009. Based on the alleged agreement, the Sinaloa Cartel under the leadership of defendant’s father, Ismael Zambada-Niebla and ‘Chapo’ Guzman, were given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago and the rest of the United States and were also protected by the United States government from arrest and prosecution in return for providing information against rival cartels which helped Mexican and United States authorities capture or kill thousands of rival cartel members.