Saturday, January 21, 2017

El Chapo: Florida Indictment and the Colombian Cifuentes Cartel connection

Chivis for Borderland Beat

How the case of El Mochomo may be a factor in the case of El Chapo...........

click on image to enlarge
There are indictments against Chapo in six federal districts.  The feds say they decided to prosecute Chapo in Brooklyn, with the assistance of Miami federal prosecutors, determining the two offices working in conjunction would bring the strongest case against Chapo.  Below is the Florida indictment. Notable is they are charging him with 5 counts and asking for a life sentence.

Coronel Barreras
There are two other co-defendants in the indictment.  One is Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa.  He is the leader of the Colombian Cifuentes Villa drug organization.

It was the Sinaloa Cartel connection to Cifuentes Villa, that authorities were able to connect Chapo's father in law, Inés Coronel Barreras, father of Emma, as the connection or liaison between the Colombians and Chapo.  And according to the Florida indictment was one of Chapo's money launderers, funneling money into the United States.

Below is taken from  a BB 2013 article.  The Florida indictment follows.

           It all started in Colombia

“Was it the DEA who located Coronel Barreras in Agua Prieta?” An intelligence agent of the United States, who requested anonymity, was asked. 
“What I can say is that the government of the United States had time to investigate and follow the tracks of Coronel Barreras in Sinaloa, Durango, Sonora and South America”.
Pressuring him to explain further in the case of the father-in-law of the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, the agent specializing in Mexican drug trafficking explains that it all started at the beginning of 2012 with a DEA investigation focused on the Colombian Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa.
According to DEA website, Cifuentes Villa is leader of an organization dedicated to traffic cocaine. 
“Cifuentes’s organization amassed a great fortune in money and illicit properties, as one of the main providers of cocaine to the Sinaloa Cartel”, reads on a page of the DEA. 
The American agent reveals that in several intelligence reports written by DEA about the Cifuentes Villa Organization, the name Coronel Barreras came up. 
"He is identified as the contact person of El Chapo and the person in charge of the transportation of cocaine shipments that originated from several points of South America to Central America and México", he clarifies.
The U.S. was allowed to fortify extradition application: 

This indictment will be modified to expand charges.  Mexico allowed the United States to expand the scope of charges against El Chapo, by adding charges to the original application for extradition.  That action may be a direct result of the U.S. case against  Alfredo Beltrán Leyva (El Mochomo), in which the U.S. drastically changed the scope of charges against the defendant apart from  the extradition application.  This is an unlawful action, extraditions are based on the charges expressed within and approved by the Mexican government. 

In Alfredo’s case, the case itself was questionable, and seemingly thrown together as an afterthought.  When he was ending his prison term in Mexico, subsequent to his brother’s death, the U.S. became interested in his prosecution.  There was no a mention of the man until that time, not in the former indictments against the Beltrán Leyva Organization, or in the testimony of witnesses such as the Flores twins.  The indictment was a bare bones, boiler plate type of document that evolved as time passed and after “witnesses” were assembled to testify against Alfredo.  Witnesses, who readers will identify as heavy narco hitters and capos, such as Edgar “La Barbie” Valdez, slated to give witness testimony in narco trials as part of his deal cut with the U.S.  Alfredo refused to make a deal that included testifying against anyone.

This, accompanied by the extradition approval documents translation errors from  translators working on behalf of the Unites States, has placed Alfredo’s case into a tentative state.  It may work in his favor in sentencing.  He is to be given an evidentiary  hearing that should benefit Alfredo.  Currently there are filings behind the scenes, including that of the translation issue and a motion not to consider conspiracy.

It appears, the U.S. is taking no chances with the case of El Chapo.