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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Chicago Twins Who Helped Convict 'El Chapo' Face New Probe After Ending Prison Terms

"The Owl" for Borderland Beat

Pedro Flores (left) and his twin brother Margarito Flores, once Chicago’s biggest drug traffickers, rose from street-level Chicago drug dealers to the top of the cartel world — and, when they got caught, helped bring down Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, the Mexican drug kingpin who headed the Sinaloa cartel. U.S. Marshals Service

Six years have passed since a federal judge in Chicago rewarded two of the most significant drug informants in U.S. history with relatively light 14-year prison sentences in exchange for their extraordinary cooperation against Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera.

Now, twin brothers Pedro Flores and Margarito Flores — who rose from street-level Chicago drug dealers to the region’s biggest drug traffickers — are once again under federal investigation, court records examined by the Chicago Sun-Times indicate.

The court filings came in the long-running Sinaloa drug case in Chicago and were filed by Ralph Meczyk, a defense lawyer for Felipe Cabrera-Sarabia, one of the remaining defendants in the case.

In December, Meczyk wrote that two people who cooperated with prosecutors against the cartel “are likely to be indicted afresh on new charges stemming from criminal conduct that occurred while they were incarcerated.”

Last month, Meczyk narrowed down who he was talking about, writing that “the government’s two star witnesses and close family members are currently the subject of additional federal investigation likely to result in charges.”

In an interview, Meczyk told the Sun-Times he was referring to the 39-year-old Flores brothers, but he declined to elaborate. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago wouldn’t comment.

The Flores brothers — known as the Twins — have admitted they smuggled at least 1,500 kilograms of Sinaloa cartel cocaine into the United States every month between 2005 and 2008. And, according to their guilty pleas, they sent more than $930 million in “bulk cash” back to the cartel in Mexico.

Though the nature and status of the new investigation isn’t clear, a court filing last year revealed that “the government no longer holds the view that all recoverable proceeds were turned over to the government.”

Jack Riley, the former federal Drug Enforcement Administration special-agent-in-charge of the Chicago field division, who helped put away Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera. Sun-Times file

Jack Riley, who ran the Chicago office of the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2008, when federal authorities in Chicago got the Twins to cooperate against Guzman, said Monday, “We never had a good accounting of all of their money.

“For them to have other criminal activities that didn’t come up isn’t surprising to me,” said Riley, who’s now retired.

Sources said the Flores brothers are free on probation after serving 85% of their 14-year prison terms, including time they spent in custody since their arrests in 2008.

In 2019, they tried unsuccessfully to get their sentences cut.

The Flores brothers were raised in Little Village. Margarito Flores Sr., their father, was convicted of smuggling drugs from Mexico to the United States. In 2009, he traveled to Mexico against the advice of his sons and federal authorities. His empty car was found in the Sinaloa desert with a note on the windshield warning his sons to keep quiet. He’s presumed dead.

At their sentencing in 2015, a federal judge told the brothers they’d always have to worry about being hunted down by cartel hit men after cooperating with prosecutors against El Chapo.

Pedro Flores testified against Guzman in 2018 at his trial in Brooklyn, which ended with a life prison sentence for the cartel boss.

Margarito Flores has said he met with Guzman and others in the mountains of northern Mexico in October 2008 after the brothers agreed to cooperate with U.S. authorities. Pedro Flores provided prosecutors in Chicago key evidence against Guzman: a recorded phone call in which they discussed a drug deal.

The U.S. government seized more than $4 million from the Flores brothers — and also provided their family members $300,000 for living expenses.

But the brothers’ spending while in protective custody prompted authorities to question whether more money was hidden. Pedro Flores gave his wife a $200,000 Bentley shortly before he went to prison. Authorities seized the car and prosecutors called the gift “wholly inappropriate.”

In their book “Cartel Wives,” the Flores brothers’ spouses — writing under pseudonyms — described having had access to unimaginable riches in Mexico. They said the Twins showered them with red roses by the dozens, 10-carat diamond wedding rings and getaways at luxury resorts in Puerto Vallarta. They lived in a mountaintop estate with a private zoo including horses, monkeys and a tiger cub.

“Cartel Wives, A True Story of Deadly Decisions, Steadfast Love, and Bringing Down El Chapo.” Grand Central Publishing

In the book, the wives said their husbands amassed a fortune made of “dirty money with a trail of bodies behind it.”

Still, federal authorities who worked on the case said the Flores brothers didn’t personally take part in the violence, believing it was bad for business and even deciding not to retaliate against a Chicago drug dealer who had kidnapped one of them for ransom.

Source: Chicago Sun Times

29 comments:

  1. Recruiting family members is a Achilles heel for any organization! Even the overrated ndrangheta are fucked up seriously!

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    1. That goes for any business in general. Also, their buchona wives didn’t help them either by writing a book. You should not have to preserve love with lavish gifts.

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    2. They’re are overrated because Mexicans make them Italians look like nuns!

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    3. @12:12 - do you ever stop?

      You make the average commenter look like Einstein over here.

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    4. Ndrangheta are Colombian puppets in Europe

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    5. 12:56 i suspec 12:12 writes just for you, like he found the map to your treasury ass funny bone

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  2. Good luck they got plenty hidden

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  3. Whatever happened to the Herrera clan? Didn't they used to own heroin trafficking in Chicago?

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    1. Interesting question. I don’t know them- but their name rings bells with certain people in the city- the name is way to common to tell if a Herrera in the news is directly related to them- they could’ve all retired in the early 90s afaik

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    2. Don Jaime Herrera & his Son?

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    3. I think they controlled 80% of the drug trade in Chicago at one point. They were a family organization, who got lost once cartels started carving up territories

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    4. The Herreras got caught and they disappeared, this is about when the GUADALAJARA CARTEL was coming up turbo, the Chicago Outfit got facked up too, and 2/6, Latin Kings and others hot big winds on their sails, i mean, the Herreras got bumped by new governments with a better deal, they were from Durango.

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    5. WindyCityKid

      Longtime contributor, born and raised.
      H's have always had a foot in the game here in chi-town and ties are deep. Between 1988 to 2005 the biggest target was logan square legend and MLD from KB was HUGO herrera aka Juice. CPD and febs came at him from all angles but could not get him even after all the big federal cases against the gang. He had the audacity to drive a bentley around the chi before jr and peter.
      Now living in Mexico due to indictment out of El paso a few years ago

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  4. It would wise or safer if they stay in prison. If they gets out, all Mexican cartels will put a price on their head, and it will be death sentence for the brothers.

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    1. "all Mexican cartels will put a price on their head, and it will be death sentence for the brothers" Why would other organizations care if they testified against JAGL?

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    2. All Mexican cartels doesn't like rats.

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  5. Damn SNITCHALOAS.. Biggest rats in HISTORY when it comes to CARTELS..
    What a MESS..
    Interesting STORY THOUGH..

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  6. I was in the Fairton wit-sec unit from 2013 to 2016 with Margarito. He goes by twin. Exceptionally believable they still have money. Spent about 2 of the years sharing gym time with him. Decent laid back kid. Met his wife several times at visits. Beautifully put together piece of plastic surgery by every means. I don't say that to be disrespectful. It was just extremely apparent. People don't get lips, hips, thighs, tits and arses like that naturally. Met several who were in the minnesota wit-sec unit with his brother. People spoke well of him to. Anyway I find it 100% believable. Fransisco A Felix was there also, El Tigray. I would be more than certain he still has access to a ridiculous amount of cash additionally. These are just educated assumptions.

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    1. 6:48 why were you in wit-sec? Are you a rat too?

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    2. A brilliant assumption. How did you get so unbelievably intelligent?
      ūü§£

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    3. ........
      ūü§£

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    4. You definitely corporated there partner

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    5. 6:48 can u tell us about your case? What made u testify?...G.C.

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    6. My case had 0 co-d's. 9 bank robberies. Long story short someone who shoulda kept their mouth shut about the murder of a 18yr government witness (a child) who was not in the game nor did he have anything to do with the game. Next question I'm sure is "how was he a witness"? He was a 18 year old father and licensed cab driver. His vehicle was used without his knowledge for a string of jewelry store heists. His family was renting his car out for crack when he was working. Phenomenal parents. When his tag was caught on surveillance he was questioned by the FBI and did what any good young man wanting to raise his baby boy would do. He was murdered because of his family's addiction and pitiful decisions. His killers where pathetic pieces of shit. And I helped bring them down. And I'm in no way whatsoever ashamed of it. It was all tied into a large federal racketeering and gang case. And when and if some piece of shit murderer who involves innocent people in their deeds and murders innocent people decide to run their mouth like that shit is cool to me I'll turn their ass in to. The public isn't and shouldn't be victims to the game.

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    7. Great reply & I agree, innocent civilians shouldn't have to be killed or harmed bc of ppl who wish to play "The game".

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  7. The wives of these clowns decided to write/release a book not thinking they’re throwing dirt in the DEA’s faces. These 2 did bring down one of the biggest cartel figures in history and yes in that industry people to tend rat each other out which is. CJNG has probably experienced this but it’s been on hush, CJNG have years to wait for something like this because they’re such a small organization. They’re like the pintos in the pen, they’re loud but very weak.

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    Replies
    1. 8:31 what is the difference between pintos and tintos?
      Thanks

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  8. I read this article before. So they got out and we're re-arrested or were re-arrested in prison / halfway house ?

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