Note: Although it is doubtful that the US Government is unaware of the location of Serfin Zambada, it does appear he no longer is calling prison his home. He has been wiped out in the prison locator. If Zambada Ortiz is in the witness protection program, he is being held at one of the 7 WITSEC custody units within the federal prison system. Further information is posted on the second page of this post. -Lucio-
Rio Doce is reporting that after agreeing to forfeit to the United States Government, $250,000, revenue earned by drug trafficking, Serafín Zambada Ortiz is still waiting to be sentenced by a federal judge in the Southern District of California from the USDOJ, which is scheduled for May 22, 2015 of this year.
The money seized during his acceptance of guilt, in a plea agreement that took place on September 27, was to be delivered in cash to the United States Government, although the Department of Justice of United States (USDOJ) would not specify who made delivery of the money.
"In those cases, who delivered the money are the defense attorneys of the accused," said Luis Carrillo, who is an expert in criminal cases and has his offices in Los Angeles, California.
The transfer of money and property is part of an agreement made between Zambada Ortiz, and federal attorneys with the Southern California Prosecutor, in which the accused also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors to dismantle the organization that his father, Ismael Zambada, El Mayo, who commands the organization, and to address other members of the organization of the Sinaloa Cartel, including their leaders.
Eye of the Ant
Although officially Zambada Ortiz is incarcerated in the prison's maximum-security Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in San Diego, sources of the penitentiary system of the United States (BOP) pointed out that they no longer have him in their power and that they do not know is location.
According to the information obtained by Ríodoce, it was on July 3, three months before he changed his plea to guilty, that Zambada Ortiz was removed from prison by people of the USDOJ.
MCC, located in downtown San Diego, is the same prison where Rodrigo Aréchiga Gamboa, founder of Los Antrax, the armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel and an old guard of all the sons of Ismael El Mayo Zambada, is being held.
However, for safety reasons, they never held Chino Antrax and Serafín Zambada together, and all that is known is that "it is very possible that Sera has become a witness protected by the agreements made with the USDOJ, to then be taken to a safe house and he only carries a bracelet with a GPS Locator".
No agency of the USDOJ could specify where Zambada Ortiz is: the DEA, BOP, or the US Marshals or FBI, who also failed to establish his whereabouts through the Freedom of Information Act (access to Information Act), arguing that "it would be violating confidentiality agreements that every prisoner has the right to in the United States".
Negotiate: the last alternative
According to Jenia Turner, law professor of the Dedman School of Law, in Dallas Texas, agreements made "under the table" by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) with people who face criminal charges, are common and occur all the time, especially in cases related to organized crime and drug trafficking.
"In some cases the accused receives full judicial immunity, i.e. not even comes to be sentenced, in exchange for information that helps locate people in your organization, which in many cases is determining to derail the criminal organization," said Turner.
The academic also added; once people of an organization are arrested, the protected witness confronts the accused, and testifies against him. It is part of the agreement in exchange for a lesser sentence, or even total immunity.
It was not the case of El Chino Antrax,the former head of Los Antrax who decided to declare war on the United States and to fight his legal status in the courts.
Zambada-Ortiz was arrested on November 20, 2013, as he tried to cross into the United States through Nogales Arizona. He transferred and was being held in a federal prison in San Diego, the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), and after being presented before the magistrate Karen Crawford of the Southern District of California , Zambada Ortiz pleaded not guilty to charges of drug trafficking. He changed his plea on 27 September 2014, and accepted guilt on all charges.
He was removed from that prison on July 3, 2014 and taken to an unknown site. In theory, his case only awaits the sentencing of the judge, scheduled for May 22nd.