Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Where the Kingpins live

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 |

Rio Doce. 9-17-2012

By Miguel Angel Vega

Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat
Supermax Colorado living quarters to;
 Francisco Javier Arellano Felix, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, and Hector "El Guero" Palma
Gringo prisons open for Mexican narcos.

Once upon a time they fornicated with Wealth: collector automobiles, exotic animals, jewels, houses appraised at millions of dollars, where luxury and exaggeration were the main ingredients; gold plated faucets, oak dining rooms for the diners, Florentine marble, collector cars and brand new cars waiting at the door, yachts, motor skis.  But, above all, people working exclusively for them.

They were the narco chiefs that, with blood, fire and a great ingenuity for transporting tons of drugs from Clombia to the United States and for laundering money, built an empire.

Until one day, sometimes as a result of their own ostentatious lifestyle, they ended up in the grip of United States justice. Today, they survive in the shadows, in maximum security prisons, some awaiting death under a life sentence. Others watch time go by, knowing that their life is not long enough to serve their sentence. And others see the sky once in a while, aware that time goes by slowly for them, but that on a day already determined by a judge, the prison's doors will open for them.

Javier Torres, El JT,  Benjamin Arellano Felix,  Vicente Zambada Niebla,  Jesus Vicente Zambada Garcia, "El Rey,"  Miguel Angel Caro Quintero,  Hector Luis Palma Salazar "El Guero,"  Juan Jose Quintero Payan,  Francisco Javier Arellano Felix,  Sandra Avila Beltran,  Ismael Higuera Guerrero "El Mayel",  all of them from Sinaloa, and all of them narco bosses in one or another area of the country,  from different cartels and, at one time or another, they all serve sentences or await sentencing in some jail in the United States.

Some are on the brink of freedom, like El JT, who will be released on April 8, 2013, although, according to the sentencing order, he was due to be released on March 16. According to sources close to the Torres family, El JT bribed several inmates into giving him their time allocated for telephone calls and this is why his sentence was extended 22 more days.   The U.S. Bureau of Prisons told Riodoce that it would not comment on the case, but that these are situations that sometimes develop in prison.

The harshest prison in the U.S. is the Supermax in the state of Colorado, which is so strict that inmates see sunlight for only an hour each day. Francisco Javier Arellano Felix,  Osiel Cardenas Guillen, and Hector "El Guero" Palma, among others, are incarcerated here.

The case of El JT is one where a drug trafficker had some success with the American justice system because he had already served a sentence in the U.S., where he was charged with drug smuggling. The other case is that of Francisco Arellano Felix, who, after he was extradited in 2006, was released and deported to Mexico in February, 2008.

Javier Torres Felix, El JT

He's incarcerated in a medium security prison know as the Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Beckley, located in Raleigh County , about 136 miles from Charleston, West Virginia. El JT was arrested in January, 2004, in an operation by the  Mexican Army, in the community of Tule in the Valle de San Lorenzo. According to SIEDO reports,  El JT was one of the Sinaloa Cartel's major operatives, very close to El Mayo Zambada, for whom he was a lieutenant.

Torres Felix was extradited to the U.S. in November of 2006 after spending two years in Mexican prisons. Among other charges, Felix Torres was alleged to have been involved in the death of a member of the military. His released is scheduled for April 8, 2013.

Jesus Hector Palma Salazar, El Guero Palma

He is serving a sentence in the Supermax, a maximum security prison that maintains the strictest security controls of all of the prison systems in the United States, including satellite surveillance 24 hours a day, inside and outside of the prison. Hence the name "Supermax" (super maximum security prison.)  It's located in Florence, Colorado, 90 miles from the city of Denver.

El Guero Palma was intitiated into the world of drug trafficking in the late 1980s, when he was working under Miguel Felix Gallardo and Rafael Caro Quintero. But one day, after a drug shipment was lost, the chiefs felt betrayed and broke their ties (with him).

In 1995, Palma Salazar boarded a Lear Jet in Ciudad Obregon, headed for Toluca. During the flight, he was warned that they were waiting to arrest him (in Toluca).  Palma Salazar  ordered the pilot to look for an alternative landing site and headed to Zacatecas, where they were also unable to land. They thought about Guadalajara, but a military convoy was waiting for them at the airport.

Almost out of fuel, they approached Tepic, but the pilot was unable to reach the airport and they crash landed in a ranch in Ahuacatlan Municipality. The Federal Judicial Police picked him up there and transported him under guard to Guadalajara.

El Guero Palma was extradited to the U.S. in 2007 and was sentenced in 2009 to 16 years. El Guero Palma will be released on July 16, 2016, because the judge gave him credit for time served in Mexican prisons.

Cell pod at Colorado Supermax
Benjamin Arellano Felix, El Min

(He's) incarcerated in the prison known as the United States Penitentiary (USP), in Coleman, Florida, 50 miles north of Orlando. This is a high security prison.

Arellano Felix was the undisputed leader of the Tijuana Cartel, and,  with his brothers, formed one of the most violent criminal groups in Mexico in the 1990s.  What seemed to be the most implacable cartel in Mexico began to crumble on February 10, 2002, when Ramon Arellano was shot to death in a gunfight in Mazatlan. A month later, El Min was arrested in a residence in Puebla.

He was sent to the Almoloya de Juarez prison and extradited to the U.S. in April, 2012. There, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison after he entered into a plea agreement with the prosecution. Arellano Felix will be released on February 6, 2033.
Home to Benjamin Arellano See orientation booklet
Juan Jose Quintero Payan, don Juanjo
 
He is an inmate in the Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) in Oakdale, Louisiana, 35 miles south of the city of Alexandria.

Quintero Payan was identified by authorities as the second most important member of the Juarez Cartel,  following the disappearance of Amado Carrillo Fuentes. He was arrested on October 29, 1999, in the municipality of Zapopan, Jalisco.   The U.S. justice system was looking for Quintero since the late 1990s on drug and conspiracy charges. From 1978 to late 2002, he was one of the leaders in the Juarez cartel, and was accused of smuggling great quantities of marijuana and cocaine into Texas and other states.

He was extradited to the U.S. in April of 2010, and he is due to be released on April 27, 2018.

Miguel Angel Caro Quintero

He is in prison in the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI), a medium security prison located in Memphis, Tennessee,  after pleading guilty of conspiracy and drug trafficking in federal (district) court in Denver, Colorado. According to PGR (Mexico's Attorney General) documents, "from 1983 to 1994, Miguel Angel was he leader of criminal organization dedicated to importing and distributing marijuana into the United States."  He is scheduled to be released on October 12, 2019.
 
 
 

Francisco Javier Arellano Felix, El Tigrillo

He was sent to the Supermax prison, a maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado, 90 miles from the city of Denver.  El Tigrillo will spend the rest of his life in this prison after he was given a life sentence by Judge Larry Alan Burns in July, 2009. El Tigrillo took over the Tijuana Cartel after his brother Benjamin Arellano  Felix was arrested. But unlike (his brother), Francisco Javier was sentenced to life in prison.

Ismael Higuera Guerrero, el Mayel and Clave Privada 

He spends his days in the Supermax prison in Colorado. El Mayel is from the town of Villa Angel Flores La Palma, in Navolato, and was part of the security apparatus of the Arellano Felix Cartel. He was arrested on May 3, 2000, in Ensenada in a military operation and extradited to the U.S. in 2007. He will be free on July 14, 2040.

Jesus Reynaldo Zambada Garcia, el Rey

He's incarcerated in the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York, a medium security prison. Zambada Garcia was one of the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, along with his brother Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, Vicente Zambada Niebla ("El Vicentillo"),  and Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. According to the DEA, "Zambada Garcia controlled a drug trafficking route through the Mexico City International Airport for his brother Ismael." 

Up until his extradition in April, 2012, El Rey was incarcerated in the maximum security prison in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, after he was apprehended in the Colonia Lindavista in the DF (Distrito Federal), on October 19, 2008.

Currently, El Rey Zambada is facing charges for bringing drugs into the U.S. and is in the process of being sentenced.

Sandra Avila Beltran, La Reyna del Pacifico

She is incarcerated in the Federal Detention Center (FDC) in Miami, Florida, where she faces drug trafficking charges. The so-called Reyna del Pacifico (Queen of the Pacific) is facing charges of conspiracy to smuggle cocaine, including possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, according to a document from the (Federal) District Court, Southern District, in Florida.

She was apprehended in 2007 in the company of Colombian Juan Diego Espinosa, "El Tigre", and both were accused of introducing at least nine tons of cocaine on the ship Macel, which were seized in 2002 in the port of Manzanillo, on the Mexican Pacific coast. Her trial is pending.

La Reyna's new palace, complete with cell phone detection K9s
Vicente Zambada Niebla, el Vicentillo

He is an inmate in a minimum security prison, the Federal Correctional Institution, in Milan, Michigan, 45 miles south of Detroit. Previously, he spent two years in the Chicago Metro Correctional Center (MCC), but after showing that he was living in deplorable conditions, Judge Ruben Castillo ordered his transfer to the Michigan prison.

Zambada Niebla, who was arrested  in Mexico in March, 2009, and extradited in February, 2010, claimed immunity and "public authority" (actions) by the United States government, who admitted having met with the son of Mayo Zambada before his capture.  Nevertheless, the U.S. Attorney states that the accused was never promised immunity, to which the Zambada Niebla defense responds that there are documents under DEA control that prove the opposite. The United States court has scheduled the start of his trial for October 9, (2012), in Federal (District) Court in the Northern District in Chicago.
 
Zambada was transferred to minimum security Milan after his many complaints
of conditions in Chicago, Milan is referred to as "Club Fed"
Extradition Law: Cataracts in Justice
 
On May 4, 1978, federal officials in Mexico and the United States signed an agreement to extradite criminals wanted by the authorities in one or the other country. This treaty was ratified by the U.S. Congress on January 23, 1979.  The agreement obligates both countries to deliver persons wanted by competent authorities, so long as there has been a criminal proceeding initiated (against them), or if they have been found guilty of a crime.

For the extradition to take place, certain requirements  must be satisfied. Foremost among these requirements is that the United States cannot, nor will it, impose the death penalty against any person extradited from Mexico. Also, extradited individuals cannot be tried for the same offense for which they were tried in Mexico. Finally, the document provides that accused individuals may not be extradited if there is insufficient evidence to justify a trial.

However, the agreement does not specify what kinds of agreements the United States justice system can negotiate informally with extradited persons, as was the case Benjamin Arellano and Osiel Cardenas, much less that these agreements be based on a price when a sentence is issued.           

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57 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Costs the taxpayers of the USA eighty thousand dollars a year for each person behind bars in an American prison.

The "drug war" is going down in the books as one of the most stupid things ever done in the known history of man.

Anonymous said...

Krazy

Anonymous said...

el min was extradited to the U.S. in April, 2011 not 2012 and it would be good if u add pics of them

Anonymous said...

So how in the hell did Tigrillo get life and Benja only 25 years?

Sounds like most of these guys got off easy considering all the murders they ordered. I am a sure a lot of them still have a pile of loot still hidden in Mexico waiting for them when they are released.
I guess the US govt wants to send the message they will pursue the narcos regardless if they put these guys away for life or not.

Anonymous said...

So where is alfredo beltran leyva at when is his release

Anonymous said...

speaking of prisons, what about the 132 that escaped from the Mexican prison across from Eagle Pass. Does Del Rio need to worry

Anonymous said...

130 escape from prison in mexican border town yester day

Anonymous said...

That toilet, sink, and water unit should be customized to have them drink their own piss and eat their own chorro. Ajua! That's what I think of you, you waste of space!

scottie lee said...

see its tuff cookies here in the u.s for mexican drug barons , over in mexican prisons drug barons can live like a kings, over here we play by the rules, your money of bribes dont mean shi!! here, plus our prisons are a lot cleaner, i seen a mex documetary about prisons, man!!!!! mexican prisons are nasty as heck, they had like 3 rats in the kitchen.... mexicans criminals should be happy to be in our prisons, lot safer, better food,

Anonymous said...

Nice Article. Thank you very much. Am gladdened that these criminals are spending their miserable time in solitary confinement.

Anonymous said...

Wow VATO, what a major work this is that you have put together for us! I'm going to save this page to my hard drive. Thanks a million buddy, friend.

K tengas un buen dia,

saludos!

Anonymous said...

Great story. All zetas should be here instead of all this traffickers.

Anonymous said...

Anyone 4rm south cali.

Anonymous said...

is that really the admax prison in Florence? i didn't think they allowed pictures to be taken of or in tehfacility. i'd bet the Emeros are having a field day making all these new connections.

Anonymous said...

El mochomo is in a mex prison

Anonymous said...

Ex cdg boss Juan Abrego also calls it home.

Anonymous said...

Wow el JT coming out next year he going back to drug trafficing in mexico he was a high rank in the sinaloa cartel. Also el guero palma being released in 2016 thats not to far away seems they like the u.s court system i smell bribes or corruption cuz other narcos that didn't know how to work the u.s system got life in prison.

Anonymous said...

you need to put at what age they will be when set for release

Anonymous said...

Yessir San Diego here

Anonymous said...

@11:19 AM I'm from Southern Cali what's up you need info?

Guys I've been trying to find out how the cases for El Mochomo, Barbie, and others but can't find shit. It seems the Mexican courts rarely release any information on the status of these cats pending extradition or convictions.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to La Barbie anyone have some current information

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if these assholes hve to do any parole in the US if they ever get out? Or do we just deport them when their time is up?

Anonymous said...

Yeah,why?

DFL said...

Hopefully soon The American Super Max Prison will have a few new faces to destroy like the Queer man Rafael Caro Quintero and his Homosexual Lover Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo and a few other Mexican Traitors and worthless common Criminals!!

Anonymous said...

They need to put these animals in state prisons. That would be just punishment. The federal prison system is far too easy. They are country clubs compared to state prisons.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I seen that show about the mexican prisons and it ain't no joke down there .. there prisons are filthy.. not only that you gotta worry about getting some chow, if u get it good and if u don't ur fucked... That's why this criminals wanna be brought here to the US...

Anonymous said...

we want the old traffieckers back, it wasnt a bloody mexico. No zetas, no antrax, no caballeros, no jalisco n.generacion, etc etc. the old bosses had things organize. ramon arellano from all these mention, that boss was the real deal... como dice la cancion de beto el roba chivas " un saludo para don neto y caro quintero que fueron jefes verdaderos... not with chapo, mayo, z40, lascano or inge on this one...beltran will probably take it 2013 has the strongest cartel

Anonymous said...

and their families are living in rich suburbs of san antonio houston and dallas!!!

KG said...

PRISONS are the biggest business the USA has going for them...they employ more people for the state than most are likely aware of. I am not American or Mexican but do know this from some Mexicans who have been in them. Some are almost 50% Mexican prisoners in them also especially in California. Many of them illegals or extradited. And deported back to Mexico if & when released upon sentence completion. Of course Mexico is going to hand them over...then the US can pay for their housing. It's probably forced by the US anyway that they get sent there.
What is unbelievable is that the US prisons have CELL PHONE DETECTING K9s!!! WTF? They have the time & gov't $$ to train them?
BTW I have seen the Arellano Felix "Castle" in Ensenada up in the hills (one of them) have some wicked pics of it at night me & some friends went up there around midnight one time a few years ago to check it out. Not sure which one of them it belonged to go...it's locked up tight & there are weeds growing around it now. Spectacular sight it is tho'

Anonymous said...

justices is a bitch, now they have lots of time to think about all the people they hurt for the love of money and now all they have is time to write a book about how sorry their life's were and are in the shit can. They are all loooser

Anonymous said...

Yup u got that rite!!! I live in houston tx northeast side is lil mexico..tejas is more fitting..but i lov it here an wouldent change it. h town fa life.

Anonymous said...

Straight deport,the only time they step on U.S. soil besides prison is the airport where the plane is waiting too transport the old farts back home, boot!!!..

Anonymous said...

Its only 10 thousand you idiot!!!

Anonymous said...

Who ever told you that is a liar. I have been to several prisions in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to visit a relative of mine. And what I have seen is different, about 70% white, 15% black and the other 15% latinos and other ethnicities. That notion that 90% in american prisions are only blacks and latinos is a big lie. Please before you post get your facts together.

Anonymous said...

He is in Mexico,Jalisco controlling the prison.

He gets out this year,they only got him for money laundering.

Anonymous said...

this is rich, may you cartel rot in prison.

Anonymous said...

To the guy who said the drug war is going down as the stupidest thing in the history of man. Wow what an Idiot that guy is.

So what you suggest we do, let the narcos run free and do as they please? 80k to incarcerate, which first of all is way off, no matter how much it is, it is money well spent. Narco and drugs costs more innocent lives and financial damage to our society. Not to mention the costs of drug rehab, hospital care and trauma for overdosed victims. Or how bout the drug addicted parent who neglects their children, creating broken homes and maybe as a result their own children get caught up in drugs, etc etc.... you know how bad drugs are, I need not say.

You see we (USA) we fight the good fight since the beginning of American history, because we can. Domestic or international we get involved. Sometimes for the right reasons most of the time. So fighting the drug war is just a matter of following suit and more Importantly, a matter of priciple.

By the way, tax dollars spent on all kinds of unecessary things here in the US. They just decorated a 100yard stretch of freeway in my city that costed 2 million of our tax payers dollars. So you think I give a shit that it costs 80k to incarcerate a narco? We do it cause we can and its the right thing to do. God Bless America

Wow, that dude has got to go down as one of the stupidest dudes in the history of man.

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha!!! I honestly wish things happend this way but the fact of the matter is our government is heavily involved in letting all this happen. I joined the marines and have sever back problems because of it and all the service I did to my country is help the people in the middle east get their poppy fields back up and running after the Taliban banned it. And all my family thinks in crazy now I have no one and the us has as much heroin as they can want thanks alot uncle Sam everyday my want to join one of these cartels goes higher and higher the whole world has gone to shit

Anonymous said...

Cell phones are used to get info inside that can result in deaths and order hits inside and out, confirm gang affiliations, fix breakouts, (it's very common for them to call girls and get them to help them escape. They cost 1000s of dollars so they create alot of crime in the prison just from people trying to steal them willing to kill. They could order someone to follow a particular officer home after work and harm them. You really would be wise to get some researching done before you try to set the world straight buddy

Anonymous said...

What have the caballeros done?? I honestly am tryin to research them and can't find anything that would fit them IMO terrorist Column like CDs cdg and Z

Anonymous said...

To the guy who said the drug war is going down as the stupidest thing in the history of man. Wow what an Idiot that guy is.

So what you suggest we do, let the narcos run free and do as they please? 80k to incarcerate, which first of all is way off, no matter how much it is, it is money well spent. Narco and drugs costs more innocent lives and financial damage to our society. Not to mention the costs of drug rehab, hospital care and trauma for overdosed victims. Or how bout the drug addicted parent who neglects their children, creating broken homes and maybe as a result their own children get caught up in drugs, etc etc.... you know how bad drugs are, I need not say.

You see we (USA) we fight the good fight since the beginning of American history, because we can. Domestic or international we get involved. Sometimes for the right reasons most of the time. So fighting the drug war is just a matter of following suit and more Importantly, a matter of priciple.

By the way, tax dollars spent on all kinds of unecessary things here in the US. They just decorated a 100yard stretch of freeway in my city that costed 2 million of our tax payers dollars. So you think I give a shit that it costs 80k to incarcerate a narco? We do it cause we can and its the right thing to do. God Bless America

Wow, that dude has got to go down as one of the stupidest dudes in the history of man.

Anonymous said...

Cuando manden al coss a los eu le va a estar haciendo los mandados a los crips y los bloods jaja se va llevar una putisa.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, 302

Anonymous said...

The welfare system in the US is where the billions come from to support the cartels. The untreated mental diseases that create the hunger for drugs here in the U.S. is the driving force behind most of the world's drug trafficking. De-criminalization and a medical societal approach to drug addiction and use would do much to alleviate the suffering of peasants world wide and it would cost less than the "War on Drugs".

Anonymous said...

Everyone Cooperates and Cooperators do not go to Supermax!

MexicoUnido said...

They are coming out to an entirely different ball game... El JT and El Guero Palma went in still under old cartel rulin, correct me if I'm wrong.
the guys getting life weren't as high rank as these two.

Anonymous said...

I just want el JT to get his revenge for elM1

Anonymous said...

jt will get his revenge an more he did his time but that wont change him.things are gonna get better for el cartel de Sinaloa.just imagine el JT,el chapo ,el mayo,los antrax.and gente nueva working together..... puro antrax putos.tu papi el R15

Anonymous said...

Where is El chapo at ? Lmfao.

Anonymous said...

El Chapo shot dead in Guatemala... NOT!!! biggest joke this year thus far...

Anonymous said...

They should never let the scumbag Mexican Latin Hispanics whatever they want to be called out of prison they sacrificed their souls and ripped others away through violence or drug pushing trafficking and consumption. For them heaven no longer exists hope for them is a pile of smoldering ash but hells gate are waiting and as exclusive lives they once lived they can guarantee they are on the devils exclusive invite list rott in prison and then in hell for the duration of eternity lowlifes

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about your TAX MONEY! The government takes Millions from these Drug Dealers when they are sentenced in court. I'm pretty sure that's good Business!

Anonymous said...

80k ain't shit compare to all the money, guns and drugs they cease from the cartels...where do you think that money goes to, the U.S goverment ain't stupid they're making more money than what they are wasting to capture them trust me "a waste of tax money you say" I don't think so....

Anonymous said...

benjamín paid 100 million dollars

Anonymous said...

So you want jt to kill chapo and mayo

lylia said...

El chapi does more for the poor people in mexico then the goverment. I was,watching a special after he escape. The repoter ask a few people from la sierra if they knew where he was and they said no they didn't and if they did they wouldn't snicth him out because more likely he was feeding,clothing and educating the townspeople of where he was hiding the same way he did his hometown. By the way he marry an 18 year old girl thid year

lylia said...

The mafia has hired mexican cholos(gansters) to kill their competion.

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