Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from an El Debate article
Subject Matter: The Flores Twins, El Chapo Guzman, DEA
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required
The Flores twins made a pact with the DEA to give evidence, they also contributed to the capture of 54 Capo's, reveal documents.
Reporter: El Debate Investigations, Laura Sanchez
Margarito and Pedro Flores are the same size, they speak alike. Both have slightly tilted left eyebrow and nostrils as if they inhale air deeply. They are so alike they can only be distinguished by finger prints.
For that afternoon in 2008, when Pedro spoke with Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, he had to clarify that it was not with him, that Chapo had met a few weeks before in the mountains of Sinaloa. That was his twin, Margarito. The narco trafficker most sought in the world gave out a large "oh" of realization.
The confusion was born when both decided to cut their hair to almost bald, and both had a diamond in their left earlobe. Or when Margarito shaved the fledgling mustache that made him stand out a little bit from Pedro.
Authorities of the Justice Department considered that success of the Flores brothers, starts in their identical DNA. In declarations, the same agents of the DEA recognize no differences with exactness.
Pedro and Margarito were 33 years old when El Chapo took the place of the mythical prohibition era gangster of the epoch of prohibition. Al Capone, as "Public enemy number one of Chicago", in accordance with the DEA, thanks to the fact that they turned into the persons in charge of accommodating the Sinaloa Cartel in this city.
Its not without reason, that the Sinaloa Cartel are considered by the United States Government as the biggest drugs trafficking organization that has ever existed in the city.
A large part of the lives of the Flores brothers is a mystery: the United States authorities decided to classify whatever archive that spoke of their past.
But El Universal had access to more than 500 judicial documents that permitted to know how the twins were introduced the Sinaloa Cartel to Chicago and how, later, they contributed to the capture of 54 narco traffickers in the United States associated to this criminal group, in addition to becoming key to the capture of El Chapo in Mexico, transformed into undercover DEA informants.
"The Flores brothers were capable of achieving this result that in another manner would have been impossible: they are the conversations recorded that they sustained with El Chapo Guzman; in that moment he was the most sought after man in the world", that can be read in one of the pages of the documents of the Federal Attorney of the North District of Illinois.
Since their incursion into the business, they inundated drugs onto the streets of Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, New York, and Washington. In only seven years they achieved the introduction to the United States of more than 60,000 kilos of cocaine, and amassed a fortune that the authorities clarified as: thousands of millions of dollars.
But the effect of the Flores brothers was more devastating than and overdose of the cocaine attributed to them, facilitated the Sinaloa Cartel permeation into the streets of Chicago. They became the leading distributors of the criminal organization.
Culturally, they popularized the idolatry of the Mexican narco traffickers, of their Saints, pistols coated with gold, the taste for Texas wide brimmed hats and cowboy boots: converting part of Chicago into "Little Sinaloa".
Pedro and Margarito learnt the difference in packaging of heroin, marijuana and cocaine since they were young. Their father Margarito Flores, a Mexican migrant, sold in the 1980's small quantities of drugs (gramero). It was apparently from their father that the Flores twins inherited their business, and their father introduced them to representatives from the Sinaloa and the Beltran Leyva Cartels. The twins first met El Chapo in the sierras of Sinaloa in 2005.
The Sinaloa Cartel sold them large shipments of heroin and cocaine on credit. They received the drugs at the frontier and transported them to Chicago, guarding the loads in a safe house. In the city a team of workers unloaded and packaged the contents, ready to be distributed to the barrios.
Witnesses produced by the Attorney of the North District of Illinois detailed that only from 2005 to 2008 the twins co-located to the streets of Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, 1500 kilos of cocaine monthly. Their earnings were found to be more than a thousand million dollars.
In 2008: the Flores twins took the decision that would change the status quo in the United States: they voluntarily entered into a pact with DEA agents.
In exchange for not spending life in prison, they agreed to deliver evidence that would allow authorities to build charges against the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel; six months after they converted into undercover agents. In this fashion, the Government of the United States knew the voices of Joaquin Guzman and Ismael Zambada, and his son Vincente Zambada.
They recorded conversations with the Cartel heads. The agreement culminated in the capture of 54 narco traffickers associated to the Sinaloa Cartel. In total, they made 74 recordings and their testimony was presented to the Mexican Government in order to solicit the extraditions of Vicente Zambada and Joaquin Guzman.
On the 27th of June of 2015 the twins were paraded in front of Judge Ruben Castillo to hear their sentences. Castillo, of the judges most emblematic of Chicago, who sentenced the high powered narco traffickers to up to 20 years, starting his discourse he said that the Flores twins were his most devastating case and with precedent: "how did this pair of youngsters convert into the most important drug traffickers since the founding of Chicago?".
They created a highway of drugs. That afternoon he sentenced them to 14 years in prison, and because of a previous agreement they had made with the United States Government he could not sentence them to prison in perpetuity.
But his final discourse contained a dose of reality for the Flores twins: " I am not going to leave you in prison for life, but in reality you already have a life sentence. You and your families, for the rest of your lives are going to have to look over your shoulders, and you are going to be asking if the vehicle or motorbike that is at your side is coming for you. You will ask if some of them are coming to kill you. In every moment, when you start your car you will be wondering if it will explode, and this will be for the rest of their lives."
The twins dismantled the operational base of the Sinaloa Cartel in Chicago. In 2009, in full judgement they paid for their treachery: the vehicle of Margarito, their father, was located in the desert of Sinaloa, in the windshield was a message for the twins: "you keep silent or we send you his head", their father is still a missing person.
The scars that the Flores twins left are still raw and unhealed. According to The Commission for Crimes, in Chicago the Sinaloa Cartel actually has 100,000 gang members in its service.
Original article in Spanish at El Debate