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Feds charge 22 alleged members of the Sinaloa Cartel in massive drug trafficking indictment in California

June 10, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Feds charge 22 alleged members of the Sinaloa Cartel in massive drug trafficking indictment in California

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Federal law enforcement officials in California have announced the first major narcotics trafficking indictments against 22 reputed operatives for the Sinaloa Cartel.

The 19-count criminal indictments unsealed in Los Angeles federal court culminated in the arrest of seven co-conspirators by the Los Angeles Joint Drugs Strike Force on a litany of charges including drug trafficking, money laundering, and weapons offenses, KTLA reported.

Justice Department prosecutors said the 22 suspects are members of a drug trafficking organization linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, led by Mexican drug lord Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.

The indictment accuses the defendants allegedly importing multi- ton quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin from Mexico into the United States, the UPI reported.

Once in the U.S, the organization distributed the narcotics throughout the country using a vast network of cartel associates.

Officials said the co-conspirators laundered the illicit proceeds back to the cartel leadership back in Mexico, according to the indictment.

Fourteen of the 22 suspects remain fugItives, most of whom are believed to be in Mexico.

DEA agents and local authorities seized over $6 million in narcotics during the investigation

Seven were arrested in a series of raids by federal agents while one defendant was already in a California prison.

The US Attorneys Office said the names of four of the 14 fugitives are not yet known.

Additionally, the investigation yielded 14 major seizures of narcotics including hundreds of pounds of cocaine, heroin, and methamphentine worth an estimated street value of$6 million.

Moreover, authorities seized 25 firearms, $1.3 million in cash and three vehicles containing hidden compartments.

According to the indictment, the co-conspirators used a network of stash houses in the San Gabriel Valley to store the illegal drugs.

The US Attorney has charged the defendants with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

Prosecutors say the lead defendant, identified as Jeuri Limon Elenes — also known as “Prude,” “Rzr,” “Fox” and “Royal Nuevo” — was in charge of acquiring narcotics in Mexico and overseeing the logistics operation including the transportation of the drug shipments into the United States.

The members of the drug traffikcing organizations are tied to the Sinaloa cartel led by Ismael “el Mayo” Zambada

Elenes currently remains a fugitive, authorities said.

The seven co-conspirators arrested this week are:

— Julian Rocha, “JRoc,” 33, of Azusa, is charged with being a Los Angeles-based purchaser of Mexican narcotics;

— Froilan Villarreal, known as “Del Monte,” of Azusa, allegedly illegally possessed seven firearms when authorities seized large quantities of cocaine and meth from his home in El Monte;

— Oscar Arredondo, 53, of Bakersfield, an alleged drug transporter was arrested in California’s Eastern District;

— Maria Ernestina Limon Elenes, 64, of Azusa, who is the mother of lead defendant Limon, stands accused of being an alleged facilitator within the organization.

— Antonio Orozco, also known as “El Sr.,” 45, of Long Beach, who allegedly transported narcotics across the international border;

— Martin Ruiz Saldana, of Santa Ana, who allegedly received narcotics from Villarreal;

— Audrey Rose Urrea, of Chula Vista, who was reportedly busted by border agents in San Diego attempting to transport narcotics across the border.

Prosecutors will seek to transfer custody of another defendant Fernando Madueno Sanchez, who was already in state prison.

All of the suspects face life in prison if convicted.

The indictments is just the latest setback for the Sinaloa Cartel, which has been bereaved by high-level arrests on both sides of the border.

Earlier this week, DEA officials announced the arrest of several suspects involved in a high-volume California-to-Delaware Sinaloa Cartel cocaine trafficking enterprise.

Law enforcement officials haven’t indicate whether the two investigations were linked.

In January, group’s former boss Joaquin el Chapo Guzman was extradited to New York where he faces a 17-count indictment charging him with running a transnational criminal enterprise.

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