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on the border line between the US and Mexico
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Monday, October 31, 2022

Juárez Cartel Leader 'El Viceroy' Receives Additional 20 Years For Drug Trafficking

"MX" for Borderland Beat


Mexico's Attorney General's Office (FGR) confirmed over the weekend that Vicente Carrillo Fuentes (alias El Viceroy), former leader of the Juárez Cartel, received an additional 20-year sentence after a court found him guilty of drug trafficking. In September 2021, El Viceroy was sentenced to 28 years for organized crime involvement. 

El Viceroy is the brother of Amado Carrillo Fuentes (alias El Señor de los Cielos, Lord of the Skies), the legendary leader of the old Juarez Cartel. He inherited the leadership of the Juarez Cartel from Amado when he died in 1997. Juan Pablo Ledezma (alias El JL) was his right hand man.


Viceroy financed El JL to create Los Linces and Los Condors, two specialized armed wings created to fight against the Sinaloa Cartel. The criminal group La Línea was born from these two organizations, as detailed in a "Notable Figures" report from Borderland Beat.

El Viceroy was the head of the Juarez Cartel for many years and was responsible for heading a vast, international drug trafficking network out of the El Paso–Juárez international border, one of the busiest in the world.  The US Department of Justice stated in 2009 that approximately 70% of the cocaine which entered the US annually was transported through the El Paso–Juárez corridor.


El Viceroy was arrested in October 2014, by Mexican federal police officers who cornered him in Torreón, Coahuila. He was captured along with his bodyguard Jesús Dimas Contreras Sánchez, to whom they secured two vehicles, a long firearm and a short firearm, radio communication equipment, and various documentation.

The version of the Mexican authorities indicates that the team of federal agents in charge of his arrest followed the activities of the capo for at least six months, tracked the vehicle he used to get around, and monitored the residences that he discreetly visited. Upon being intercepted by his captors, the leader of the Juarez Cartel claimed a different name from his but ended up accepting his true identity.

El Viceroy has been wanted by the US government since August 2000, when the US District Court for the Western District of Texas in El Paso indicted him. In the 46-count indictment, El Viceroy was charged with marijuana and cocaine trafficking, money laundering, tampering a witness, ordering a killing to suppress information to US investigators, and for leading a continuous criminal enterprise. The last charge alone carries a minimum sentence of 20 years and up to life imprisonment.


The US government issued a formal extradition request in the summer of 2015, but El Viceroy's defense team has successfully been able to halt the process.

Sources: El Heraldo de Mexico; Borderland Beat archives

Further reading: 2009 Indictment2019 Indictment; West Texas Drug Market Analysis (DOJ, 2008)

Acknowledgments: Special thanks to "HEARST" for providing the images for this report

64 comments:

  1. Juarez es territorio de Sinaloa .
    Gente Nuvea took out el JL by order of los patrones

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    1. 5:33 Nomas porke haci lo dices no quiere decir que es cierto.
      Ni siquiera eres de Juarez guey solo un lame huevos de Sinaloa por eso hablas.
      Veo que Sinaloa tiene muchos lame huevos hasta eso.

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    2. Juarez es es CJNG not CDS

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    3. 5:33 jajajajajajajajajajajajajaja ni con los soldados y la PF de su lado pudieron con Juarez.

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    4. 11:23 Juarez es Juarez. CJNG no tiene operaciones significativas en Juarez.

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    5. 12:27 CJNG and Juarez have an alliance.

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    6. 3:19 Thats right.

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    7. El Vi-shit-roy.

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    8. 8:08 el monta perros

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    9. 12:27 aunque te duela CJNG esta moviendo mas merca por Juarez que el propio CDJ y especial mente mucha mas merca que el CDS que nunca pudo contra CDJ ni con ayuda de todos los chotas y soldados 🤣🤣🤣

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    10. 1:34

      En dicho caso el negocio del CDJ es rentar su pasada, entre mas crucen por sus puentes mejor. Ignorando el hecho de que no se pueden establecer, ni vender, ni operar. Solo pasar por Juarez y el brinco, claro. A Juaritos le es muy redituable principalmente a la coquita, heroina y marihuana, con la que ha permanecido fiel. Fentanilo y cristal en su mayoria son el negocio de otros cartels. Ignorando el hecho de que las tienditas son de Juarez.

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  2. I would love to see an article about el JL at some point. One of the founders of la Linea, right hand man of Vicente and a nickname of 'the beast' really sparks an interest.

    Though it's very hard to actually get info on him that is not speculative, or wrong, like some of the supposed pictures of him.

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    1. I agree. Do you remember by any chance if there used to be more info on him in the past or perhaps where the info was first published?

      I hardly remember. Unfortunately lot of the sources have "died" (i.e. URL/link rot) over the years. Best bet would be to reach out to the government via a transparency request or to local newspapers and consult archives in person if they happen to preserve them. If you have other suggestions or places I can look, feel free to let me know. Thanks Seregalin!

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    2. 7:22 El JL no fundo mas que pura madre. Fue cabecilla / jefe de sicarios y hasta ahi. Fallecio alrededor del 2011 / 2012 en un enfrentamiento contra la Policia Federal en Carretera Juarez-Casas Grandes. Años despues el Gobierno Federal retiro la recompensa ofrecida por su captura.

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    3. Hey MX, I've only been infatuated with the underworld for the past 2 years, so I'm afraid I don't have any memory of sources older than that. I mostly get articles about a teacher with the same name Juan Pablo Ledezma who died, not much about the JL himself.

      I might take a look and see if I can find old (video)reports from the Juarez war and see if there is something to piece together. Sadly I do not live near the borderland so an archive visit is hard...

      12:31 I heard about him dying in a shootout in 2010 even up to 2012 somewhere to the west of Juarez. If you mean the Casas Grandes near the Puerto Palomas crossing then I think we're talking about the same story. Can I ask where you got the information about the confrontation with the federales from?

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    4. 1:11

      One of the most trusted employees of Gabino Salas Valenciano was a close friend and told me about it + saw it on news (however never mentioned his name) + PGR / Federal authorities took down the prize offered for him.

      He was a local/regional boss of sicarios during "war" against El Chapo/CDS/feds, but nothing else than that. And galaxies away to be considered the founder of Cartel de Juarez. Wikipedia myths.

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    5. El JL was killed by El Chapos men, in his trail this murder was talked about.

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    6. 2:01 Him just being a plaza boss of sicarios is new to me, I've seen a number of commenters here going back to the older articles around 2010 mentioning how he used to drive around untouched through Juarez in big 10+ car convoys. The articles from the early 2010's also often call him a bigger name than just a plaza boss and the info at that time did not come from wikipedia articles or similar. Not saying I don't believe you but I am a bit hesitant.

      Who do you see as one of the bigger Línea bosses, not just from during the big war? Diego, 80, Sexto, Chuyín, Brad Pitt, Monico? Or a Carillo Fuentes?

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    7. 3:52 PoliciaFederal used to work for El Chapo by then

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    8. 4:05

      None of them. Just regional/operator bosses, but definitely not on top. Theres a reason why ALL of them been killed or arrested. Mostly regional or boss of a cell sicarios, but nothing higher than that. And of course JL had a lot of hitmans under his control, that means nothing, since there was a war on course.

      Carrillos have been mostly out of the Juarez scheme since Amado left in 1997. Since then most of them were either killed or arrested. For a reason they live and/or operate/operated in Sinaloa, or other cities, except for JRZ.

      Can a be a regional manager on Walmart having lots of employees under your charge, but still FAR away to be considered CEO, board directors or even a shareholder. Just another replaceable member, but nothing else than that, like JL, or El 10.

      Chuyin was a regional leader, that i personally saw twice back in 2014+/- when passed few days in Villa Ahumada, driving a SRT Cherokee with a body guard. A regional leader, relatively respected and deeply rooted Jefe de Plaza in Villa Ahumada, but nothing bigger than that.

      When it comes to detentions it is convenient to have figures like them and refutable official versions. Meanwhile real characters goes undetected for public opinion, enemies and agencies they dont have on their pocket, like some federal agencies.

      Most, by not saying ALL attorneys generals and governors in Chihuahua had been cooperating with local cartel since decades ago, including Maru Campos, so careful with official versions. List of last names involved can result interesting. Can share one of the list if you wish.


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    9. 4:05; I am a gringo with 20 years driving routes through all of the major metropolitan areas north of Veracruz, Leon, and Guadalajara. Because I’m in Mexico almost 4 months a year I have read El Debate, La Nota Roja, BB, etc to avoid daytime firefights on the major tollways. I share this because I don’t recall Viceroy ever drawing notice by large convoys, sightings, etc; and I perceive he always played the book of the “untouchables” before we knew of these Columbians who grew out of the Medellin, Cali, and subsequent low profile groups.

      Maybe wrong - just my recollection.

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    10. A forum poster who "knew" CDJ/La _____ wrote JL got killed in CLN of all places. Maybe I'm mistaken but it seemed reckless to me for JL to be venturing into the lions den even if he had assurances from any of the two other CDS bosses. Polo Ochoa was good until he wanted his money, it didn't matter he was partners with Juan Ignacio thereby having his fathers backing. According to one corrido I have heard JL was from CLN so he probably was visiting family if he was killed there.
      That poster had good information and some videos of interrogations from the war that hadn't been released, so at least to me, he had inside knowledge of the happenings in Juarez, even if as he wrote, they played their cards very close to the vest.
      @6:01 My question would be if VCF wasn't the boss of CDJ why did JAGL have Rodolfo and Cruz killed? Or was it not him who ordered those deaths?

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    11. 6:01 You are really giving me some interesting insights, thank you. Now that you mention the Carrillo Fuentes living/operating from Sinaloa, how would that work? If I'm correct then the family is from Navolato, which is close to Culiacan and absolutely CDS territory. Do the CF have a lot of pull in that area that guarantees them some sort of safety or is there (which seems more likely) a deal in place with the Sinaloenses? If there is a deal in place then it's very confusing to me how they can live in Navolato and bring hell to eachother in Chihuahua.

      And regarding the Carrillo Fuentes being mostly out of the Juarez scheme after 1997, it seems you are hinting at them still having influence in areas outside of Juarez, correct? Like Navolato but more so also in other places in Chihuahua?

      You mentioned the governors, attorney generals and others being corrupt, which well surprises no one, haha. Though some leaders/operators have been presented at the hangar in CDMX I believe, after their arrest. Which would indicate to me that the federal government is also involved, not just the state government of Chihuahua. Would that make a story any more trustworthy coming from the government or is the involvement of government forces outside of Chihuahua not of much influence? (I hope this question made sense)

      6:34 You are correct, I have the same view of Viceroy. The driving around in large convoys through Juarez was aimed at el JL specifically, not at Vicente himself. Though again, I've read commenters on here and other forums mention this, so it's nowhere near verifiable. As we know almost nothing is verifiable when it comes to the underworld...

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    12. @6:01 PM

      I would really, really like a copy of that list, if you're offering. So much of the official, press release version of what's going on seems disconnected from what is really happening. You can email hearst.bb@protonmail.com anonymously and securely.

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    13. 4:24
      They “operated” out of Juarez on matters not related to Juarez Cartel. Since Amado left, they had nothing/little to do in Juarez.

      For a reason his son Cesar was living in Sinaloa, until recently killed (2020+/-), his son (ACF grandson) and a Carrillo member died on an airplane accident, theres a video about it, and happened in Sinaloa too. El niño de oro died in Sinaloa. Vicente Carrillo Leyva was in CDMX when detained, and Vicente Carrillo Fuentes was in Coahuila.

      Sinaloenses did nothing since they have nothing to do, if did, mostly independents stuff.

      When Amado left, previous figures took over, DEEPLY rooted in Juarez since decades ago. No surprises here.

      Generalizing isnt bright. But study names like Patricia Martinez, whos brother was kidnapped and tortured with a bat on video, but he gave names before, killed with a wire now living in Spain.

      During past administration, they presented Vicente Carrillo Fuentes as a BIG detention, who wasn’t neccesarilly involved in Juarez Cartel by then, with no bodyguards and out of Juarez. His name gave credibility, assuming El Chapo escaped and president Peña Nieto had proven corruption cases by then.

      Actual figures running Cartel in Jtown are MUCH more interesting than Carrillos or JL.

      Actual federal administration is not the same.

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    14. 5:12 / Ms Hearst: Sent!

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    15. 11:57 Would define it like this... Cartel of Juarez: Before AMADO / DURING AMADO / AFTER AMADO.

      If Guzman did that, was during and little after Amado. For a reason Vicente had to leave Juarez. And none of his sons were able to retake Juarez, one ended up death, the other was detained.

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    16. 4:24 I don’t believe the Carrillos are active in Navolato. I believe family members are still there but 10 years ago or there about I believe I recall one of Amado’s sons being shot and killed. I met the two young men in 2006 when they were looking to but 8 hectares from me in Mazatlan and one brother was very social and the other was very intense and analytical. They arrived in a sports car and two Range Rovers parked to block oncoming traffic while we chatted. I didn’t end up selling to them because they wanted to pay and have me have the escritura recorded at a later date when they said someone would contact me later to close with the notario. Their offer was nice - but no thanks to holding title for an unknown period of time!

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    17. confused about this stuff about VCF being out of Juarez after Amado's death is nonsense, contemporary newspaper reports say that he fights a war with the Munoz-Talavera and kills Rafael.

      Chupeta testifies in Chapo trial that the investors in his loads up untill Rodolfo death are Mayo/Chapo/Beltran leyva/Nacho and Vicente Carrillo

      La Barbie in his interrogation says the war in Juarez starts because Chapo doesnt respect JL who is running juarez for Vicente Carrillo. and that they have to make peace with Vicente to pass through Juarez

      cant rememeber who said it but it also came out in chapo trial that Chapo hated JL more than anyone because of him killing his people in Juarez

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    18. 3:46 Dont get why people is so obsessed with JL, he was just a boss of sicarios during an cartel war, nothing else than that.

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    19. Es como decir que el chueco es el maximo jefe del cartel de sinaloa.

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    20. 10:00 For the readers that don't live close to Juarez, there isn't that much information available about the criminal actors involved in the conflict. There are only a handful of names that you regularly hear about, one of them being JL. And this conflict being so violent, a boss of sicarios or what he might be at this point, piques the interest...

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    21. @11:19 Lo que escribe 6:01 es contrario a lo que se ha publicado por las agencias del gobierno de los dos países acerca de los jefes del CDJ o Carrillo Fuentes. Todos los carteles tienen inversionistas y socios sordos que también pueden ser los contactos con los del gobierno. Las familias que menciona 11:23⬇️ ya se sabía, no recuerdo cuál señor de esa familia adinerada no pasa oficialmente para allá porque al gobierno de EEUU le interesa hablar con el.
      A lo que yo entiendo JL fue lugarteniente de VCF, era jefe de plaza de Juárez y encargado de alinear y combatir a los contras.
      Podía invertir en mercancía? Tal vez
      Podría mandar mercancía a contactos que el tenía? Tal vez

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    22. 4:48 Jefe de plaza durante el momento mas cabron en Juarez. En paz descanse JL.

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  3. Went on a rabbit hole with the Further reading section, good links thnx BB. Mx - what is the fastest way to find these?

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    1. I use Google often and generally play around with advanced searches. Here's a variation you can use:

      "Indictment" "Vicente Carrillo Fuentes" site:https://www.justice.gov/ file:pdf

      The quotations means the search should pull that exact same word. This helps if you want to be very specific in a search. The "site" option will narrow your search for that site, and then "file" is optional if you want to look for PDFs, Excel/Word docs, etc.

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    2. MX : Esa es una excelente herramienta de busqueda. Lamentablemente la informacion disponible y veridica sobre el Cartel de Juarez en internet es relativamente limitada, en comparacion de otros carteles y personajes. Lamentablemente Vicente y familia de Amado despues de su presumible muerte es muy dudosa, ya que hay otros apellidos en juego que nadie menciona. y que al dia de hoy ha prevalecido.

      Me quedo a deber las revistas de Alarma!

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    3. La detencion de Vicente Carrillo fue un regalito de El Chapo a Garcia Luna / gobierno federal para presentar a algun "capo". Quien si lo fue cuando estaba su hermano, pero en su momento ya no era ni capo de el Cartel de Juarez, ni en operaciones, ni traia escoltas, y lo mas importante, ni estaba en Juareza al momento de su captura. Fue una total sorpresa para el.

      Fue un "duro golpe" para ningun cartel, pero con los apellidos suficientes para pararse el cuello ante la opinion publica luego de una fallida "guerra" contra el narco. No se dejen engañar.

      Despues de 1997 los Carrillo dejaron en manos del Cartel a sus antiguos operadores y fundadores. Los actuales dueños de Juarez. ☺

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    4. 12:43. Afirma. Zaragozas, Otero, Escobar, De la Vega, Fuentes etc. my ex girlfriend Uncle was Sr. Pedro Zaragoza.

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    5. @11:23 your half right ,i can tell your from that area. The only ones who know about those folks are the locals and from the state of Chihuahua

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    6. 11:23 De Artemio o Alejandra, o Lupita que les sabes? pasa el dato, o de Romulo E, no nos deje con la duda jaja

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  4. Only "sweet" deals are offered to CDS INFORMANTS ??? The Zambadas are laughing right now.

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    1. But did nothing against the Juarez Cartel.

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  5. I read that Vicente negotiated his surrender in return for no extradition. Anyone else hear of this?

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  6. I would like to know what became of the Grupo Zeus who investigated narcotics and Victor Morales Arreola who was a comandante in Nuevo Casa Grandes who worked for La Línea what became of him?

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    1. Creo trabajo un tiempo en Cuahutemoc, ya de ahi no hay rastro.

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  7. That’s still a lot of power to not be extradited to the US. He’s got someone by the balls for sure.

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    1. Got nothing to offer anyways.

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  8. Anyone know if Vicente's people are still involved?

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  9. Hay limpia en juarez en la colonia donde vivo están cayendo gente a diario los que conocí por en barrio eran dobladas y son los que están matando, quien está limpiando juarez????

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    1. Quien mas.... jajaja

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    2. Algunos doblados trabajan con La Linea.
      Mas bien los estan matando los Mexicles o Aztecas a estos.
      Pero en realidad no se sabe bien quein esta contra quien porke ay doblados trabajando con Mexicles y Aztecas pero bajo nombre de Empresa.
      Aztecas originales o Vieja Guardia trabajan solos y se volvieron a grupar y parece ser que ellos si estan contra todos excepto La Linea.

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    3. Yo me quede en que los aztecas se dividieron, y tuvieron pugnas internas, a la par de los mexicles, que se voltearon y se hicieron lineas. Ahorita hasta la Maru esta con la linea. Que de cierta manera, es lo mejor para Juarez.

      En su mayoria es contra vendedores de droga independientes, o que se surten de los chapos u otros lados y pretenden distribuir en juarez, donde todas las tienditas respetadas por la autoridades locales son las de la linea.

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    4. Aztecas de Juarez se dividieron porke el cartel de Juarez o Nuevo cartel de Juarez quisieron tomar El control de estos y juntarlos con algunos doblados y Mexicles bajo el nombre de la Empresa.
      Los Aztecas que aceptaron ese trato atacaron a los otros Aztecas fieles a la pandilla que tiene su verdadero liderazgo en las carteles de Texas.
      Duraron mucho en recuperarse pero por fin bajo los lideres de Texas los Aztecas Vieja guardia en Juarez se independizaron y parece ser que estan luchando contra todos en Juarez excepto La Linea pero no se esta seguro eso tampoco.
      Lo que si es seguro eso que todavia existen y posiblemente estan creciendo poco a poco otra ves en Juarez.

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    5. 7:07 Buen dato.

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    6. 9:49 La Polesia,
      siempre en vigilia...
      Better believe, they put leyzaola on the run and never came back

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  10. La linea son los meros dueños de Juaritoz todos en El estado grande sabe eso

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    1. Sinaloa todavia no termina con la lucha por Juarez. Si no se componen los de Juarez y dejan de matarse entre todos va regresar Sinaloa a terminar con La Linea.
      Si no me creen acuerdense que tambien dijieron que ya nomas le ganaban a Sinaloa en Juarez y Todo tranquilo otra ves.
      Puro pedo. Siguele la matanza.
      Mejor acoplense otra ves con la gente de antes y dejense de traiciones porke si no les van a tumbar la plaza.
      Y por traicioneros con todos.
      Ya se ganar Baja California. Al rato vuelven por Juarez.

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    2. 8:31 Por la forma de operar del cartel de Juarez, el tipo de estructura y otros aspectos, no es posible "ganar" Juarez. Ya quedo demostrado. De hecho, el Cartel de Juarez es mas antiguo que el mismo CDS.

      Hay ajustes de cuentas, pero no se compara a los tiempos de guerra.

      La linea esta mas fuerte que nunca.

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    3. 8:31 Esa seria una tarea imposible para el CDS.

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  11. Are there Juarez or Sinaloa Cartel bosses living in El Paso ? Must be nice.

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    1. Most of them do. Some of them were born in El Paso, having lots of properties and businesses there. Lots in lower valley, west, and east.

      En la Alameda hay chingos de narco loteros...como el de Torredey Motors. Linieros pochos.


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