Rio Doce. 9-17-2012
By Miguel Angel VegaTranslated by un vato for Borderland Beat
|Supermax Colorado living quarters to;|
Francisco Javier Arellano Felix, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, and Hector "El Guero" Palma
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|
(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|
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.