Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Alliance Between El Chapo, Canadian Mafia, Bikers, Fueled NY's Drug Trade

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 |

Borderland Beat


I provided two versions of this story. One I translated from Proceso today, and the other is the original 'technicolor' New York Post version.  Relish the different journalism styles. I bet readers prefer the Proceso "no nonsense style." Links provided as always below.

Proceso version
MEXICO CITY - In complicity with a motorcycle gang known as the Hells Angels and the Canadian Mafia, Joaquin El Chapo Guzman introduced marijuana to New York for the past 10 years, an operation that generated more than one billion dollars.

A five-year investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) revealed that the network is led by Jimmy Cournoyer a French- Canadian, as published in the New York Post.

U.S. authorities and police in Laval, Quebec, where Cournoyer once lived, supposedly dismantled a network specializing in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana hydroponically, harvested in British Columbia.

Cournoyer had a jet-set lifestyle, a supermodel girlfriend and threw parties which unsuspecting celebrities attended, even Leonardo DiCaprio.

The marijuana was transported in vans and mobile homes across Canada with the help of the Hells Angels, authorities stressed.

Montreal mafia and Hells Angels transported drugs to New York, where trucks would take them to a warehouse in Brooklyn, according to the investigation published by the American newspaper.

"The illegal narcotics distributed by members of this criminal enterprise had an estimated value of over one billion dollars, conservatively speaking," said attorney Steven Tiscione in court documents.

According to research, the millions of dollars generated by the sale of  Cournoyer's marijuana  was used to purchase cocaine from Joaquin Guzman Loera, El Chapo, leader of the Sinaloa cartel, federal authorities say.

Later, with the sale of cocaine refinanced the marijuana operation.

The purchased cocaine shipments from El Chapo were trafficked into Canada, where it was resold, and parti of the proceeds was destined for the network that brought marijuana to the Big Apple, reveals the New York Post .

Jimmy Cournoyer was arrested in the spring of last year when he was disembarking from a plane in Cancun, Quintana Roo, because he was black listed by U.S. authorities.

Mexican authorities were able to put him on a flight back to Canada with a stop in Houston, after trying three times.

When Cournoyer landed on American soil, elements of the DEA arrested him and now faces trial on charges of drug dealing in New York. 

The original New York Post version
A rogues’-gallery alliance among the Canadian Mafia, outlaw bikers and a Mexican drug cartel supplied New York City with nearly a billion dollars in marijuana until the feds crashed the party, according to authorities and new court documents.

And what a party it was.

French Canadian drug kingpin Jimmy “Cosmo” Cournoyer made enough dough for a jet-set lifestyle, complete with a stunning model girlfriend and parties that drew unwitting stars, including Leonardo DiCaprio, sources told The Post.

A five-year probe by the DEA and police from Laval, Quebec, where Cournoyer once lived, revealed that his network allegedly specialized in growing and distributing potent hydroponic marijuana cultivated in British Columbia.

Cournoyer, now awaiting trial in Brooklyn federal court, organized the “vast international drug-trafficking enterprise that has been in existence for more than a decade,’’ prosecutor Steven Tiscione wrote in recent court papers.

“The illegal narcotics distributed worldwide by members of the criminal enterprise have a retail value of more than $1 billion, conservatively,” Tiscione wrote to a federal judge.

Until his recent bust, Cournoyer, 33, tried to stay one step ahead of the law in Quebec by garaging his astronomically expensive Bugatti Veyron and instead tooling around town in a Porsche Cayenne to throw off Canadian police surveillance teams, sources said.
The Porsche belonged to the slick drug lord’s catwalk gal pal, Amelia Racine, a willowy Canadian-Brazilian brunette who has modeled in Europe, sources said.

Her jailed brother, Mario Racine, was allegedly the gang’s trusted lieutenant. He is now awaiting extradition to stand trial along with Cournoyer in Brooklyn, officials said.

One of Cournoyer’s biggest customers in New York City was reputed Bonanno crime-family associate John “Big Man” Venizelos, who is currently out on bail in the case, according to sources and the documents.

Looking less like an alleged mobster and more like a day trader with his Ralph Lauren pastels, nautical-flag belts, Polo loafers and horn-rimmed glasses, Venizelos keeps a downtown Manhattan pad and holds a “straight job” managing “Jaguars 3,”a Brooklyn nightspot, sources said.The club is overseen by Vincent “Vinny Green” Faraci, a reputed Bonanno soldier who formerly managed the “Crazy Horse Too” strip club in Las Vegas, the sources added.

Cournoyer was nabbed last spring after stepping off a jet in Mexico as a wanted man.
At the time, he refused to board a US-bound commercial plane to the States, throwing a series of tantrums right out of the Robert De Niro comedy “Midnight Run,” in which the main character fakes a panic attack.

Cornoyer’s antics forced a total of four plane changes over two days before he was eventually flown to New York City to await trial.

The pot supply under his domain was transported in motor homes and trucks across Canada with the help of the Hells Angels, officials said. The motorcycle gang and the Montreal mob then smuggled the pot from Quebec into upstate New York, authorities said. Trucks delivered it to a warehouse in Brooklyn, sources said.

Millions of dollars generated by the marijuana sales were eventually used to buy cocaine from Joaquin Guzmán Loera, the leader of the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel — with the sale of the coke further financing the marijuana operation in Canada, feds say.

That coke was smuggled north into Canada where it was resold — with part of the profits underwriting the massive marijuana pipeline supplying New York City, according to sources and court documents.The enterprise relied on blood relations: Luc Cournoyer, Jimmy’s cousin, is now serving time after he was caught driving a motor home filled with pot, officials and sources said. Jimmy’s brother, Joey Cournoyer — seen in a Facebook photo partying with the unwitting DiCaprio in a bar in Europe — was a crew member who has not been charged yet, although the probe is ongoing, sources said. Also in the photo was Jimmy’s close pal, Ultimate Fighting world champ Georges St-Pierre.

Jimmy Cournoyer’s lawyer, Gerald McMahon, promises a vigorous court battle. Venizelos’ lawyer, John Meringolo insisted that $100,000-plus found in his house by DEA agents isn’t drug cash.

NY Postmmaddux@nypost.comProcesoSDPActualidad, Daily Mail UK, Universal

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39 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

the article is a little misleading to make it sound more sensational, all of these different organizations werent dealing with each other directly but from middlemen. Jimmy Cournoyer ran a marijuana grow ring and sent the weed to the USA, and NYC. The hells angels helped him transport it. The pot was sold in nyc. they took some of that money and bought coke from a differnt person, who traced back to Chapos organization. Jimmy had no direct link to chapo, had no idea where the coke was coming from other than it was from mexico.

Anonymous said...

I like the Proceso version better.I don´t like my articles to read like they were written by The Sopranos.

Guerrero said...

All about El Chapo

Anonymous said...

LOL first paragraph in the article WRONG.

Chapo wasn't moving the BC bud he was selling the cocaine the Canadian who was buying it with bud profits then reselling the cocaine back in Canada. Who writes these articles? 3rd graders?

Anonymous said...

They were moving 1,000 pounds a week of BC Bud into NYC. They were working with the Bonanno family.

Anonymous said...

I will take the vivid technicolor with my tea and crumpets in the morning. I'm Brittish so i thrive on the sensationalized headlines and stories. Too much dry copy with the NY Times, Proceso etc. I'll take the crazy NY Post any day even if it sounds like a thug wrote it from 'dah slammer.' I like the nutty story. It breaks up the monotony. Cheers to u Havana - I doff my hat

Anonymous said...

Hells angels and chapo? I guess someone is writing a script for a movie?

Anonymous said...

I agree. Typical story. Anybody gets caught with coke and all of a sudden they are dealing directly with chapo.

Anonymous said...

The proceso article was an easier read, but they didnt have as much information on the model girlfriend. thats not like mexican news, normally they put the hot chick front and center.

Anonymous said...

El Chapo is sitting back laughing his ass off after reading the NY Post article especially if he is using Google translator to Spanish. Can you imagine what that would say? Jajajajaja! Oh yeh! He is illiterate, he may need someone to read and translate for him too. Maybe Vato can help Chapo-everyone says
He's a 'spot on translator.' I don't know him well, someone ask him to cause El Chapo would laugh at the convoluted story!

Anonymous said...

Money talks, bullshit walks

Anonymous said...

Crea fama, y echate a dormir...pinche Chapo gets the blame/credit for every crime committed across the western hemisphere

Anonymous said...

Good Post

Anonymous said...

This is funny! I vote fot the short one even if it isn't loaded with details and less clea than the longer one that sounds like Scarface wrote it.

Anonymous said...

like i said he has been exposed and when he was behind the seens it was all good but when everyone knows youre deals its a matter of time just like deathrow with suge and there money laundrey and connections to mexican cartels chapos days are numbered and it takes me back to tijuana baja why couldnt he take over and second is that his demise cause every since hes been crossing his loads and paying a fee people are really hitting them hard like the new pri and dea and cia and other cartels and his family members have been murdered like ivnevered seen before hisdays are numbered just read ms longmire website this was predicted 2 yrs ago

Anonymous said...

So they chopped off one head from the Sinaloa Cartel Hydra, two more have grown in its place to take its place.

Anonymous said...

Mexican Cartels,Canadian Mafia, but no Murrican Mafia? Aqui no pasa nada, move along.

Anonymous said...

Everything is always about El Chapo. Do you ever think we haven't seen a real photo of him in who knows how long. And with all those rumers of plastic surgery-how will they ever catch that guy

Anonymous said...

Amusing combo-glad they got this complete jerk in jail- bet he isn't throwing too many tatrums or parties on the inside-Gracias Havana - this was a fun comparison.

Anonymous said...

I'M FROM UPTOWN, THE HEIGTHS, IN NEW YORK CITY AND I'M OUT IN THE STREETS OF NY THE ONES THAT HAVE LIKE THAT ARE MY OWN KIND/DOMINICANS, THEN IN QUEENS, NY, COLOMBIANS,MEXICANS, AND THE REST OF THE SOUTH AMERICANS BE OUT THERE AND IF THEY SAID BONANO FAMILY THEN THEY WAS JUST SELLIN TO THEY OWM KIND/ITALIANS, BECAUSE NY, HAVEN'T HAD DRUGS LIKE THAT SINCE EARLY 90S AND. WITH A CHAPO CONNECT THE WHOLE NY, CITY WILL HAVE WORK EVERY WHERE DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE,,,TATO SE ME CUIDAN POR ALLA POR MEXICO SALUDO DESDE NUEVA YORK, DOMINICANO-TRINITARIO ACTIVO AL 100 Y AMOR Y PAZ A TODOS MIS PAISANOS MEXICANOS KE TRANSA?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there's a direct link to chapo and a crackhead down the street who buys 20s at a time..lol..heres a quick lesson youngsters..chapo has people buying shit from a few other countries.he sells it to a few middlemen at a low cost so that they take their own risks from the moment they get it,which is before it even gets to the states..therefore,he aint got shit to do with the bikers,gangsters,etc...take it from someone who has been in the game...

Anonymous said...

As big as chapo is in the coke business i wouldnt doubt if it came from his organization whether directly or indirectly. He seems to have cornered the drug market. Coke and meth are for losers but weed should be legal its a plant for godsake

Anonymous said...

11:12 you are right Chapo middlemans coke from many countries now. More all the time. They are a huge.

Anonymous said...

January 16, 2013 at 5:21 PM
"pinche Chapo gets the blame/credit for every crime committed across the western hemisphere"
I heard that,thing is though,many idiots believe this kind of shit.They believe that Guzman got billions stashed in his undies,they believe that Guzman controls most of the drug trade on this planet,in short they believe whatever the fuck is said about him.Its all a huge conspiracy with Guzman pulling the strings of deceit and deception,Stephen Hawking aint got shit on Guzman.

Anonymous said...

"Mexican Cartels,Canadian Mafia, but no Murrican Mafia""Aqui no pasa nada, move along" ?
Are you proud of that shit little man?Prick an a half,we know where your priories are then.Get some new heroes.

Anonymous said...

No,Stephy(as he likes to be called by friends)is actually the third boss...Mayo Zambada Chapo Guzman and finally Stephy(stphen hawkings)...he can walk too,just a cover.

Anonymous said...

@4:09
I just read the two articles and all the comments and to the very last comment and what in the world are you going on about ? Does it go with this story?

Anonymous said...

Yea el chapo also is connected to regulo caro

Anonymous said...

Longmire is an idiot, she's just a soap opera fan with old info from un-original sources

Anonymous said...

"I just read the two articles and all the comments and to the very last comment and what in the world are you going on about ? Does it go with this story"
Apparently there is a mysterious female called Stephy?Who is 3rd in command structure of CDS?As is usual no one knows for sure,just whispers and hearsay as she is said to be hyper violent?There is a rumor it could be Guzmans illegitimate son,or,Mayos daughters,daughter third removed from El Vincetillos niece.It is said she is being groomed to take over,there is another female called La Emperisa or something.@4:09 PM would know more .

Anonymous said...

This is nothing new... for those interested , here is a link to another billion dollar pot ring bust moving canadian weed to NY, FL, and cocaine back up to canada.

http://articles.courant.com/2009-07-25/news/uconn-drug-bust-0725.art_1_john-m-belanger-smuggled-trafficking-charges

Anonymous said...

4:09 - thanks i never knew- I'm glad i asked. I'll do some research too- sounds very interesting-again i appreciate it i also enjoyed this exercise in journalism comparison.

Anonymous said...

10:35 well it is new to me sorry- better late than never! So, gracias tambien-seems this is what I like to read the most this cold winter of 2013. It was a good read which is what you guys always say, "Good read
Havana!"

Anonymous said...

9:59 - maybe we found the fake Chapo daughter who came to have a baby and left after spending 2 months in jail to go have her baby in Guadalajara. Maybe she isn't a doctor after all nut Stephy!

Anonymous said...

3:37 PM
Ey man,Stephy,Guzmans illegitimate daughter is fire hot and hot to trot,she always comes across for a fit dude.You gotta be in shape to keep up with Stephy,just rumors ?
I hope she female anyway ? Always wondered though,she got a bigger bulge than me .

Anonymous said...

Lot's of biker and gang linked henchmen from Canada were shot down in Mexico like Tom Gisby recently. Mainly because their competitors up here were bribing hitters in Mexico to take them out.

The bikers are pretty well organized in Canada and control lines in every province. Even a dominican street gang in Toronto is probably buying their stuff from bikers.

Media automatically links it to Guzman because he's the boss of bosses and it probably was his coke, though I highly doubt there's meetings set up between the Montreal Mafia and Guzman more like some border cartel working with Guzman supplied the dope

Anonymous said...

@7:23 PM

Nobody is sure she's even his illegitimate daughter. He's gonna have to appear on the Maury show to submit to a dna test. You are NOT the father

Anonymous said...

@11:26 AM
Ha dude i never thought of that,what about me?
You ARE the father.At least wait for the results?
Someone gonna ask us if"Stephy"really is the daughter of Guzman?You can take the blame this time.Shall we start reelin some in?You know,she is supposedly 3rd in command of CDS like Emperissa,and a god daughter of Mayo Zambada?There was talk she even stepped out with Chapito Flores?Now that is strange than truth?

Anonymous said...

I prefer this version of the story, although it leaves out the rat who led to the cartel connection..

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/nyregion/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-biggest-pot-dealer-in-new-york-city-history.html

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