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Snitch Flores Twins could provide most damning testimony against ‘El Chapo’

January 25, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Snitch Flores Twins could provide most damning testimony against ‘El Chapo’

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The long-awaited prosecution of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman will occur in New York, but the principal witnesses in the case are believed to be a pair of brothers from Chicago who betrayed him.

Justice Department prosecutors are expected to trot out a list of 40 cooperating witnesses including high-level Colombian drug lords to former cartel associates to testify against ‘El Chapo.’

However, testimony from the turncoat  Flores twins, Margarito and Pedro Flores from Chicago’s Pilsen and Little Village areas, will probably provide the most damning testimony against El Chapo.

According to ABC7,  brothers are expected to testify about El Chapo’s business-like approach in leading the Sinaloa cartel, including the use of torture and murder methods to convey messages.

“Guzman’s guilt will be proven through consensually recorded conversations of Guzman during which he discusses specific drug transactions.”

The Flores twins were trusted associates to the Sinaloa’s kingpin between 1998 to 2008. During that time, officials believe that the twins smuggled 71 tons of cocaine in Chicago and other U.S. cities, with an estimated street value of over $2 billion.

U.S. Marshals wanted poster issued before the twins decided to cooperate with U.S. federal authorities

The duo then secretly “flipped” on El Chapo and the Sinaloa organization in 2008, while covertly recording phone calls with the billionaire, which provided federal authorities with insight to the cartel. In 2013, Chapo supplied 80% of the cocaine sold on Chicago’s streets.

Their cooperation is believed to provide the most effective insider view of El Chapo, according to prosecutors.

The 35-year-old twins will provide personal knowledge of the private army, navy and air force headed by El Chapo to transport his shipments into Chicago, New York, and other U.S. cities. Chapo, also known as “Shorty,” constructed a fleet of tractor-trailers, aircraft, yachts, fishing vessels, container ships and even submarines to smuggle the drugs.

A Chicago prosecutor referred to the Flores brothers as “the most valuable cooperators this district has ever seen.” During the time they were gathering evidence against El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel, if they had been caught “they certainly would have been killed.”

The Flores twins oversaw distribution in the U.S. for the Sinaloa cartel

After their undercover work, in what was considered a revenge killing, the twins’ father was executed by a cartel hit squad in Mexico.

The Flores brothers pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 14 years in Chicago two years ago.

Their cooperation indicated that they got “a discount for bad behavior” Chief Judge Ruben Castillo said. The judge added that they would have been handed life sentences if they had not cooperated. They were sentenced to 14 years behind bars.

As El Chapo’s extradition was being prepared, the siblings were believed to be a significant reason that prosecutors in Chicago had the best case against the feared narco boss.

However, even though New York has landed the case for the prosecution, jurisdictional boundaries do not prevent U.S. attorneys from combining evidence collected in several federal districts especially since the cartel boss is charged with leading a network of operatives that distributed cocaine across the U.S.

According to insiders and the drug kingpin’s associates, El Chapo’s biggest fear was facing trial in the U.S. justice system where his money and well-tooled security force wouldn’t hold much sway, and he would not have the chance to pull off a third escape.

The Flores twins had close ties to senior figures within the Sinaloa cartel’s leadership including ‘El Chapo’ and his partner Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada

Court documents filed by federal prosecutors last week unequivocally stated that security is in place to guarantee there will be no jailbreaks while Chapo is in custody in the U.S. .

At a press conference in New York, Homeland Security special agent Angel Melendez said, “I can assure you no tunnel will be built in his bathroom.”

The U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn pledges to display witnesses in court who will testify about El Chapo’s extensive drug network and his ruthless enforcement of cartel practices. Margarito and Pedro Flores are the highest-ranking Chapo operatives to betray him.

The twins are in the government’s Witness Security Program (WITSEC) and are being held at an undisclosed location. They had not been publicly seen since they were sentenced in Chicago in 2015.

Although numerous other top Sinaloa cartel members have pleaded guilty to trafficking charges, none have risked turning against Chapo. When the Flores brothers recordings of their conversations with Chapo are played in federal court, prosecutors hope the drug lord’s words will speak for themselves.

El Chapo has been charged in six federal districts. Although New York gets the first crack at him, that fact doesn’t mean Chicago officials couldn’t prosecute him in the future, requiring a repeat performance by the Flores brothers in their hometown.

However, if the kingpin is successfully prosecuted in New York and sentenced to serve in a “supermax” prison, the government would not spend additional time and resources to put him on trial somewhere else on similar charges, especially due to the security risk of transporting him.

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