Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Son of drug kingpin Vicente Zambada-Niebla gripes about tough jail conditions

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 |

BY FRANK MAIN
Chicago Sun Times

The son of one of the world’s most powerful drug kingpins contends his harsh jail conditions in Chicago are unconstitutional.

Vicente Zambada-Niebla was arrested in 2009 in a swanky Mexico City neighborhood along with five bodyguards armed with AR-15 assault rifles.

Zambada — a reputed high-level Sinaloa cartel member — is charged with conspiring to import hundreds of pounds of cocaine and heroin to Chicago. He has more than three dozen other co-defendants, including his father, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, a fugitive who is considered a top Sinaloa leader. Between 2005 and 2008, the cartel used Boeing 747 jets, submarines, fishing boats and container ships to move the drugs from Central and South America to Chicago, prosecutors said.

Zambada is being held in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago where he awaits trial. In a court filing last week, asking for better jail conditions, Zambada’s lawyer George L. Santangelo said his client is shuttled between four cells set aside for him at the jail to keep him isolated from other inmates. “He sleeps in a cell for two consecutive nights and then is required to move to one of the other three cells,” Santangelo wrote.

Other inmates in the jail’s Special Housing Unit are required to move only once a month and only one cell is reserved for each inmate, the lawyer said.

Zambada is prohibited from speaking to any inmates or anyone else other than a counselor or Bureau of Prisons official above the rank of lieutenant, neither of whom is on his floor regularly, Santangelo said.

Zambada gets mail about once a month and is allowed one call a week, far fewer than most other inmates. And he must exercise in a 12-foot-by-12-foot wire cage, Santangelo said.

“In the entire period of his pre-trial detention, he has not seen sunlight or breathed fresh air. In contrast, he had outdoor exercise every day in a super-maximum security facility in Mexico,” his lawyer wrote.

Santangelo said the jail should explain why Zambada is being held under such tight restrictions or discontinue them.

In recent years, other high-security prisoners such as mob killer Frank Calabrese Sr. and white supremacist Matt Hale also have been placed under tough lockdown measures usually reserved for terrorists. But their conditions don’t appear to have been as restrictive as Zambada’s.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.

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53 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh boo hoo! Pobrecito

Anonymous said...

This asshole deserves this and much more. Let him rot in prison.

Anonymous said...

unconstitutional? What he is an expert on the U.S. Constitution now? Screw you pendejo! You should of thought about it before you chose a life of crime.

Anonymous said...

What a fucking joto!

Anonymous said...

Do you think he or his dad were concerned about their victims comfort level when they kidnapped and or tortured them?

Anonymous said...

Because they don't want him to open his mouth about the dea cia and Mexican law that used him as ground intel

J said...

Yeah, that sounds pretty unfair and inhumane. No reason for that, in my opinion. As far as I know he's not accused to being a serial rapist or a serial killer. They probably do the same thing to Benjamen Arellano in San Diego. It's ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Narco-terrorists can amass rooms full of hundred dollar bills but are still worth shiite! Pinche maricon. Dig up some of your victims and ask them how comfortable their conditions are.

Anonymous said...

Release him to the general population. He'd go back to his conditions in a heart beat. Chicago corrections is no joke. Place is run by gangs. They try to seperate rivals instead of eliminating gangs. When you arrive they literally ask you what gang you are in and if your folks or people. Chicago gangs all unite in prison and your either one or the other,no exemptions. Everyone else are just targets and victoms. No matter your race you fit either group. And since it's one on one there are constantly clashes and violence, no truces. I've had a uncle and freinds there and they always been released scared as shitt. So vicente would have a fun time getting beat up and pushed around all the time

El_Regio said...

I agree, throw his ass in the general population and problem solved, we would also save a lot of money from him not having a trial.

Anonymous said...

Poor Vicente, Too bad they dont serve Burritos and Enscaladas on a daily basis in the Prison Cafeteria.


Pobre Vicente ,malo no sirven también los Burritos y Enscaladas sobre una base diaria en la cafetería de la prisión.

Anonymous said...

The MCC in downtown Chicago!!

Accommodations-wise: Not the worst, not the best; hay, its prison. I visited a relative there; several times (same shit, different pendejo).

Was walking distance from a pretty good pizza joint, at that time (early 90's); this bitch should call out for delivery.



...on the border, by the sea...

Anonymous said...

IS this a joke,or is the author a ACLU,AMNISTY guy??

Anonymous said...

Lmfao!!!! Es un pendejo! I'm sure he's done worse to innocent people. Prisons have too much trash in them already. Just get rid of it.

Anonymous said...

Where are all the people who were here talking smack about him having it easy in jail. This is just the start. When he gets to supermax it will be worse......it will be forever until he dies alone in his cell.

Anonymous said...

@ July 6, 2011 6:24 AM
ITS LIKE THAT IN EVERY JAIL/PRISON.....CHICAGO IS NO DIFERENT THAN SAN JUAN COUNTY JAIL IN NM.

@ July 6, 2011 9:22 AM
HE WILL GET OUT BEFORE HE DIES....COUNT ON IT

Anonymous said...

The C.I.A.(Cocaine Importing Agency) is afraid he will give up some contacts...

Anonymous said...

F*ck him and his dad! Those are similar to the type of conditions that happen at Supermax Prisons here in the U.S., they're for the worst of the worst. So yeah it may be inhumane, but consider it a TINY step towards penance for all the lives he had taken.

He got to live up a life of decadence for a long period of time, now it's time to pay the consequences. No sympathy for that cockroach or his roach family.

Anonymous said...

WTF... He deserves that and much more...

DFL said...

Poor asshole. Whats wrong puto- you don't like having Bubba use you as a Bitch that you are? Fucking Queer. I bet his butt hurts every time he walks.
Male rape- thats the game in American prisons that waits all who enter there. Good. Hes getting what he deserves. Its only been a few months, it will get allot worst for him when he realizes that this is forever. He will NEVER be free again. This worthless asswipe needs to get use to it. Its the Vida loca that he asked for. He needs to shut the fuck up and be the little bitch that he is. LOLOLOL!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't really think this is about him complaining on conditions. It is probably courtroom theatrics by his attorneys. Nothing more, nothing less. This will go on for a while. I think we need to have a contest to see who guesses the closest to what his sentence will be.

I will go on record with a guess of 22 years.

TRC

Anonymous said...

HOW MANY FAMLIES, CHILDRENS, PARENTS IS HE RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING!!! VETE ALA VEGA PUTO!!

Anonymous said...

This is a perfect example of why extradition is a valuable tool in dealing with the capos of these criminal organizations. Whether one is for or against prohibition, the fact remains that these people are the ones, alongside the government and police agencies, who have destroyed the country and seen the rate of murder, extortion, kidnapping, suicide, and domestic drug addiction skyrocket in Mexico. Whereas it used to be the players who had to be concerned about losing their lives, it is now the innocent civilians who are experiencing stark terror on a daily basis. Children are experiencing PTSD, and bullying is on a dramatic upswing.
Just as the Colombian cartel chiefs were terrified of extradition, so should those who engage in these activities in Mexico be terrified. This is an excellent tool; almost anything can be had for the purchasing in Mexican prisons, whereas facilities in the U.S. are considerably more restrictive.
Mr. Zambada, Mr. Cardenas, and all the others who are encarcerated in the U.S. are experiencing their worst nightmare outside of torture at the hands of their competitors.
Can't really say I have much sympathy. If you can't do the time...

J said...

Who said he wants to go to general pop? Obviously not the place for him. Just let his have the standard special inmate deal.

Everyone is so bloodthirsty on here sometimes. Kill em all, torture em to death, throw how to the wolves.

Mr V said...

All these people talking crap this dude use to feed the government if it wasn't for him a lot of Americans would be starving right now...Sinaloa don't kill innocent people those people died for a reason... So if u don't know the truth don't open your mouth...

Anonymous said...

Ohhh Suuuuure! Sinaloa is the patron saint of the cartels, they can't do any wrong, they don't bring harm to innocent people!

Get over yourself Mr V, you think Chapo has complete control of his grunts that put in the dirty work? HELL NO, especially when the majority are whacked out on crystal meth, they can be just as nasty as the Zetas. Tell me I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

Mexico needs to exterminate ALL cartel members like the rabies infested rats that they are... They should hang them during their perp walk while the reporters are taking pictures... When is Mexico going to actually do something to get rid of the cancer that is killing their country? The cartels are way worse than the H1N1 or even EBOLA and they should be treated as such...

Anonymous said...

LOL!! I guess he can't handle getting pummeled by Bubba and his friends on a daily basis!! to hell with this asshole......this is the choice you made when you killed innocent people just so you could get rich.

Anonymous said...

His dad is the second in command of the world's most powerful criminal organization, what do you expect?

Anonymous said...

Poor J.
Your hero is being mistreated. Maybe you can send him a care package and go visit him in prison. Sounds like it really is upsetting you!!JAJAJA!!

twina26 said...

For the record this so called drug Kingping person is a setup .. There is so much more going on here..Why has Mr Bush not been locked and put in worse conditions.. see Mr Zambada is to be one of the husbands of the hidden Queen of the United States..which means he carries a royal title..which changes everything because the Bush and Obama's are part of this network and run it as a thief cover to steal from the Queen and her trusts, land everything.. so he is being held so he could not help her.. For the record his spouse ranks over the President Obama has controlled her computer so she could not access his attorney or any attorney all of her rights violated in the United State her entire life.. She has done extensive research into this.. and its smoke and mirrors to steal from her trust and land etc. so the whole thing is a setup..started in the 1950's.. He did manage a few contacts to her which he was able to inform her of his inheritance/successor..which is what the DEA setup is.. get them to collect her stuff and then say we seize it from a drug bust.. Thing is the CIA programs are what brainwashed her to not know her "husbands" for years.. Bush's has tormented the since before she was born.. He was charged with assaulted her as a child.. and yet allowed to be President.. During this process she became aware half of Mexico and many from the US that impersonate her are claiming all of Mexico including all the cartel that were left to her and then all the rest of crime around the world.. all of the Mafia.. interesting reads...so we have Mexico insane over this.. She made her claim recently to stop the insanity and has done the same several places.. so I suggest we have Bush or Obama switch with him and I will take custody of my husband.. Not saying that everything is innocent but why do we have so many able to claim cartels. From Almighty's standpoint he is deserving ..Bush/Obama/Johnsons/Recka/Ivanauski/Anderson/Wiliams/etc are not.. I was sent to him.. We are the godly and this is how far the United State would go to violate God almighty..

Anonymous said...

I agree, he shouldn't be treated this way: they should cut his throat and let him bleed out

Anonymous said...

que pensaba el vato que esta en mexico jajajaj

Anonymous said...

dejen de criticar ustedes no saben de que hablan.

Anonymous said...

This KID has to much power iam pretty sure some how, some way, hes millionaire dad will get him out..((((((((((((((MZ))))))))))))))))

Anonymous said...

hahahaha look at all you dumbasses talkin shit LOL wen ur country is da main buyer from dis mans cartel lol EL NINO will be back in sinaloa in no time trust me jus read between da lines LOL bunch of dumb fucks being played ona daily basis by ur government LOl i laugh at u americans obama bush calderon are all el mayos and el chapos COMPADRES LOL.... PURO CDS from da sierra de badiraguato...

Anonymous said...

haha i laugh at u americans talkin all dis smack EL NINO had more respect den calderon he will be free again read between da lines... da us is da main buyer from dis guys cartel LOL bush calderon and obama are el chapo and el mayos compadres LOL da us attorny and everybodys elses jaw will drop wen he walks back into mexico o and obama shaking his hand as he walks out....

Anonymous said...

I wish I could help him escape so el mayo zambada. Can make me a millionaire, y no se aguite mi niño zambada que Algun dia saldras de ese infierno, and for all u shit talkers he never killed inocent people, only traitors

Anonymous said...

As im reading all these comments im thinking WHO in the fuck are you to be critizing what ever he did its his promblem like if you were all fkn perfect you wouldnt be talking shit if a family memeber would be in jail for what ever reason so if all of these people who put these dumb ass comments have so much hate then go vist him in jail let tell him

'L'B said...

i am guessing ..but i bet some of those chi-town gangs are latino/mexican..if he got into general population he would have some friends ..money talks ..and it talks loud in prison..he is worth something...worth protecting and worth extorting...i doubt his ass would be spread..to much money covering it ...the cops sure as hell don't want him making any connects with otra malos in the joint ..but i doubt he will ever walk free again..not for many many years

Anonymous said...

Texcoco Mex said.

They should let him out. He looks like a cool killer he also dress real sharp.

Anonymous said...

to all those shit talkers, vayanse a la verga. viva la familia zambada, los guzman loera, y la familia MICHOACANA hijos de su puta madre. viva michoacan y sinaloa. mi apoyo para EL NINO.

Anonymous said...

Los mayitos controlan las prisons drugs prison get it pendejos dinero drugs

Anonymous said...

jaja this guy saying that hes gna get raped in jail jaja do yu even have a fuken idea of who he is idiot? Hes Vicente Zambada bitch hes gna geet out soon didnt yu fkn hear the news!!

@october 25,2011-I agree with you los mayitos controlan!!!! ;D

Anonymous said...

TO ALL THE PEOPLE SAYING IF HE WAS PUT IN GENERAL POPULATION HE WOULD GET BEAT UP BY CHICAGO GANGS THAT IS COMPLETE BULLSHIT !!!!! NO GANG WOULD PUT THEIR HANDS ON HIM IF ANYTHING THEY WOULD LOOK AT HIM AS A GOD CHICAGO GANGS EXIST BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE HIM. THIS IS THE TYPE OF PERSON THAT DOESN'T NEED AN INTRODUCTION NO CHICAGO STREET GANG WOULD BE STUPID ENOUGH TO MAKE THE SINALOA CARTEL THEIR ENEMY. I AM 100% SURE THAT IF ANY GANG MEMBER HURT HIM HIS OWN GANG WOULD KILL THAT MEMBER JUST TO SHOW THE CARTEL IT WASNT A GANG ORDER.

Anonymous said...

There is corruption everywhere, whether you are in an organized crime group or in the "great" government. Lets be honest the human is naturally corrupt/selfish we behave justly because it is beneficial, if we were to be unjust we would become outcasts in society, or unwanted for lack of better terms. If an opportunity exists where you can get away with what is considered a "bad deed" many humans will cave in yes even officials of what ever government. It is hard to say that there are good people in this world because the truth is that we are all selfish, we just behave in a just manner so that society will run efficiently. Its an agreement we have within each other, that is how "treat others how you want to be treated" comes into play. You dont kill or betray, cause you dont want to be killed or betrayed is a social pact which benefits those who abide by these rules. So those who think are good people, your only good cause it pays to be good, naturally you are selfish and you want more. Its a fact of life, we are on this earth with the purpose of survival so we instinctively want more and more. So Vicente Zamabada is no different than any of us. Im a first generation Mexican in the US attending the Univ of State, my Father is from Sinaloa so as a kid i heard about famous drug capos. But I believe that in this dog eat dog world you dont always have the choice to do what you want, whether Zambada chose to be a lawyer, doctor, engineer it didnt matter because the drug world would catch up on him just for being the son of a capo. He had no choice. So therefore you shouldnt blame him, people behave a certain way for a reason, we are human and we make mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Free el niño puro cartel del chapo y el mayo

Anonymous said...

estamos al 100 con el Nino puro CDS pendejos

Anonymous said...

No pasa nada Mayito!
Que sacrificio tan grande has hecho. Cambiando de tema un chingo!
Quiero que sepas que tus pinches corridos
estan bien chingones. Todos los dias escucho corridos cuando voy para mi trabajo. Me gusta disfrutar los fines de semana con unas buenas chelas escuchando corridos de hombres que los tienen bien grades. Yo talvez hubiera sido como tu pero yo naci con unos muy chiquitos. Que si no, hay guey. Recientemente acabo de escuchar uno de la Reyna del Sur y que chingon esta. Por cierto Teresa aparte de que los tienes bien grandes eres muy guapa.

Anonymous said...

This is the mayo son you ignorants people proud to be Mexican we can do big money because we smart then all the people .

Anonymous said...

He should start recruiting Chicago gang members for te Sinaloa cartel... They already do that here in Cali..

n said...

You guys have no idea the power that man has..

Anonymous said...

Pura gente envidiosa ya que nunca van a poder ser como el ni su familia. Y por eso lo tratan tan mal.

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