Domingo 01 de Agosto de 2010
Francisco Gómez | El Universal
When the late drug kingpin Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel Villarreal, was shot and killed by soldiers in his luxury safehouse, he was in possession of 10 suitcases containing $ 7 million (U.S.) a vast collection of jewelry, at least half a dozen cellphones, and most important of all, a laptop computer whose data storage contains information vital to the operation of his empire.
Experts from the Attorney General of the Republic’s office (PGR) are holding the laptop computer and are extracting and analyzing the information contained within its hard drive.
Information extracted from evidence seized at the safehouse has already led to a military operation that resulted in the location and death of Coronel’s nephew and heir apparent, Mario Carrasco Coronel, in Guadalajara on Friday, July 30, a day after his uncle was killed.
The computer, according to official reports, contains data on the operations of Coronel’s drug racketeering operations on land and sea, and the companies that he used to carry out the importation, transfer and distribution of cocaine, precursor chemicals used to manufacture synthetic drugs and methamphetamine.
According to SEDENA (the Ministry of National Defense) Nacho Coronel died Thursday afternoon during a clash with soldiers seeking to arrest him in Zapopan, Jalisco, in an operation based on military intelligence analysis. Coronel was found with his confidant and bodyguard, Hiram Quinones Francisco Gastelum, who was arrested by the soldiers who carried out the raid.
Nacho Coronel was third in command of the Sinaloa cartel, behind only Joaquín “el Chapo” Guzmán Loera and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.
Surrounded by luxury
In the safe houses uncovered in previous operations and where Coronel met his end this past Thursday, he lived surrounded by large amounts of cash in low denominations, jewelry and precious stones.
He also lived surrounded by high-powered weaponry to deal with any enemy and the security forces, according to official reports.
Nine assault weapons, seven side arms, grenades, one thousand cartridges and three luxury vehicles were seized in the safe house located in the upscale Colinas de San Javier neighborhood and were transferred to the custody of the Deputy Attorney General’s office Specializing in the Investigation of Organized Crime (SIEDO), whose prosecutors have jurisdiction to carry out any investigation.
Military sources said cell phones that contained information about the men who spoke to the drug lord led to the location of his nephew, Mario Carrasco Coronel, hours later in the Colonia Rinconada de los Novelistas where he was killed when he tried to escape from his captors.
Hiram Francisco Quiñones Gastélum, considered the personal bodyguard and confidant of the late Nacho Coronel, was transferred to the custody of the public prosecutor assigned to the Special Crimes Unit and is expected to be arraigned soon.
In an official report, the PGR said that, according to SEDENA, Quiñones is a former member of the security forces specializing in the management of combat strategies.