Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The last trip of El 'Chino Antrax': Vengeance and Treason

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat  RioDoce

The main door has both entrance and exit bullet impacts, a sign that there was resistance.  Chino was not alone: ​​late at night his sister Ada Jimena Aréchiga and his brother-in-law Juan García had arrived at the house. Minutes later the arrival of the commandos, the two men and the woman were forcibly removed and forced into  vehicles and receded. 
                                                         With Mayito Gordo

José Rodrigo Aréchiga Gamboa was the last Anthrax remaining.

The others of his gang, died in clashes with federal forces or with the armed cells of Joaquín Guzmán Loera ... and in recent years with which his children command. And if two or three walk around like the Changuito, the Cheyo, the Monkey, the Cali, they are  integrated into another structure.

He never became more than a gunman. He took care of Ismael Zambada García's family. That was its function. He had hitmen, pointers, hawks, taking care of the Zambada family properties. Safe houses, vehicles, weapons, drugs for "the plebs".

He adopted the name Los Antrax to symbolize his apparent lethality. He commanded the  making of  northern corridos that elevated his figure far beyond what he really was.

He did not form a professional group of hitmen, nor did his hands spread around the world, as some apologies for his criminal record affirm. On the contrary, his influence was very “culichi” and the results were never good when he tried to get out of his control zone.

                                                       Tubutama, Sonora

There is the Tubutama massacre, Sonora, in whose shooting (2010) several (29) of his gunmen died in a confrontation against the Beltrán Leyva, once the war broke out inside the Sinaloa Cartel.

Chino Antrax did not know how to manage the power he had; he squandered it in sumptuous parties, in endless partying, in extravagant luxuries, in media shrillness using social networks, in champagne, branded clothing and footwear, cars, trips, gold plated weapons, live music even in his bedroom ... and women. What would later be called the “buchona show business” in Culiacán, is largely due to Chino Antrax.

He had no limits because those he had to protect. Photographs of him abound with the sons of Mayo Zambada. Ismael Zambada Imperial, the Mayito Gordo, arrested in November 2014 by the Navy, did not miss one of his parties. Like Serafín Zambada Ortiz, also prone to noisy environments and narcoglamour.


Serafín was arrested in November 2013, at the pedestrian crossing in Nogales, Arizona, when he intended to cross the border with his wife Karime Ellameli Torres Acosta, daughter of Manuel Torres, El Ondeado, one of the most bloodthirsty drug traffickers that Sinaloa has had.

Rodrigo Aréchiga Gamboa fell five weeks later in Amsterdam. When the gunman arrived at Schiphol airport, police officers from that country were already waiting for him.

He first identified himself with a passport in the name of Norberto Sicairos García - who belonged to a friend of the gang who had already died - but the police went for him and identified him for who he really was.

Six months later, Chinese Antrax was extradited to the United States, where he was prosecuted in a San Diego court. But the trial was sealed and only the accusation and sentence were made public, not the details of the case.

El Chino reached plea agreements with the Prosecutor's Office. This is explained by the fact that he was punished with a minimum sentence of seven years in prison and that he had been sent to house confinement. According to indictment CR-4517-DMS, he was accused of drug, methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine trafficking. If he had defended himself and lost in court, he could have been sentenced to life in prison. But he pleaded guilty and then went on to collaborate with information, and was released on “supervised release”, and the privilege of being confined in a private home.

What interests affected, from which cartel, from which boss, that only he and the North American authorities knew. There are dozens of accusations leveled against many Mexican and Sinaloan drug traffickers in the courts of the United States, of which Aréchiga Gamboa had precise information that could strengthen the charges of the gringos.

The last trip

The Chino came straight to Culiacán. It is not known until now how it got there or if he was moving around and hiding in other houses.

The truth is that on the night of Friday the 16th, he received the visit of dozens of assassins who watched the house of Baltazar de Obregón 2804 all day long - one block from Francisco I. Madero and two blocks from Avenida Revolución, in the Guadalupe Victoria neighborhood- from one corner in a compact car and from the other, some guys on top of a truck . Chino was there several days there and as far as is known he had seen few people.

Some sources claim that he was already recruiting assassins.  Also that he had tens of millions (it is not specified whether in pesos or dollars) that “he needed to move”.

The visit came at 11:00 at night. They did not ring the bell, they blasted their weapons for a few minutes in causing the neighborhood to panic. Gunshots, rapid fire of 40-caliber rounds, grenades evoking screams.

The main door has both entrance and exit bullet impacts, a sign that there was resistance.

El Chino was not alone: ​​late at night his sister Ada Jimena Aréchiga and his brother-in-law
Juan García had arrived at the house. Minutes later upon the arrival of the commandos, the two men and the woman were forcibly removed and forced into the vehicles and receded.

After minutes of atrocious silence, 10, 20, 30, no one knows how, the "government" arrived: municipal, state, army police ... who only took notes and photos as they talked and talked and talked on their devices.

Considering the point where they were abducted and the point where they were found, the gunmen seemingly did not give them much thought. The SUV with the bodies was found on the road that leaves the highway to Sanalona, ​​Francisco I. Madero connection –heading to the town of Ayuné. 

Straight line to an irrevocable destination: death. 

Whether or not he was wearing the gps monitor when he fled, that was not reported by the US Marshall, who is in charge of the custody of prisoners in the United States and to whom Riodoce asked. The DEA (Drugs Enforcement Agency) did not say anything either because since Chino fled he said that he would not talk about the case.

FBI agents have been in Culiacán disguised as attachés of anything from some American consulate, but you can't talk to them. Weird that DEA hasn't come. They were here recently. Before the Culiacanazo, supervising the destruction of drug labs and promising technological aid to the state government to fight drug trafficking. Or maybe because of that.

Reaping what has been sown   

In reality, Antrax was never a real or specific concern for the Mexican government, much less for the authorities of the United States. They were a band of cholos, almost all dead, some left here to save their skins, and the least are still active inside some structure of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Of the most relevant, Rafael Guadalupe Félix Núñez, El Changuito, had been detained by the Navy in November 2014, but escaped in March 2017 along with four other inmates from the Aguaruto prison, Culiacán, including a son of Juan José Esparragoza Moreno, aka El Azul, Juan José “El Negro” Esparragoza Monzón. (left)

Along with him also escaped Jesús “El 20” Peña González,  the security chief for “El Mayo”, and  of the highest hierarchy and never linked to the cells of Los Anthrax.

René Velázquez, known as Sergeant Phoenix, (below left)was killed by the Army in October 2016, during a confrontation in Culiacán. José Carlos López, the Cali, was injured in the same confrontation,  and after he had recovered,  his whereabouts were no longer known.

Others of lesser hierarchy died in confrontations with Joaquín Guzmán's cells, when  he was still around. While he shared the bread and salt with his friend Mayo Zambada, doing business together.  Irrational attacks on crowds on volleyball courts or on the streets in broad daylight left gunmen and innocents scattered in a war that no one ever understood.

José Miguel Arano Montaño, El Monkey, was also detained by the Navy, just when they apprehended Changuito. Two days earlier, Ismael Zambada Imperial had been detained at Ranchito de los Burgos, a community near El Salado. When the three bodies appeared in the BMW, near Ayuné, it was originally said that one of them was the Monkey.

Eliseo Imperial was with him when a Navy operative arrived. But he was not arrested.

In September 2016, the United States Department of the Treasury designated  four Mexicans for allegedly engaging in drug trafficking and money laundering in the service of the Sinaloa Cartel.

One of those indicated is Eliseo Imperial Castro, the Cheyo Antrax.


WASHINGTON – On Friday September 23, 2016 the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated four Mexican nationals, pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).  Eliseo Imperial Castro, a.k.a. “Cheyo Antrax,” Alfonso Lira Sotelo, a.k.a. “El Atlante,” Javier Lira Sotelo, a.k.a “El Hannibal” or “El Carnicero,” and Alma Delia Lira Sotelo have been designated for their narcotics trafficking and money laundering in support or on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel and/or its high-ranking members.  As a result of today’s action, all assets of those designated that are within U.S. jurisdiction or in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

“Eliseo Imperial Castro’s and Alfonso Lira Sotelo’s narcotics trafficking and money laundering activities serve to expand the Sinaloa Cartel’s influence into California,” said OFAC Acting Director John E. Smith.  “In conjunction with the Government of Mexico, OFAC will continue to aggressively target narcotics traffickers, the laundering of their illicit proceeds, and those who participate in advancing their criminal activities.”

Cheyo, Mayito Gordo and Chino Antrax

The Southern District of California has charged Eliseo Imperial Castro and Alfonso Lira Sotelo with several narcotics trafficking violations involving methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and money laundering.  OFAC is designating Eliseo Imperial Castro for materially assisting, supporting, providing services to, and/or acting for or on behalf of his uncle, Ismael Zambada Garcia, and/or the Sinaloa Cartel.


  1. He started a trend ill give him that he had the narco wanna bes going crazy trying to copy him. Lol. Dudes would literally spend all their checks trying imitate him

  2. Great read Chivis! I never knew Antrax actively fought against Chapo's guys. Is this common knowledge? I thought they all worked together.

    1. all cartels infight....the strong ones survive and do not split into smaller cartels/cells....UNITY is the key to survival....

      unity, however, is not perfect and infighting occurs...
      pay attention to the top two bosses, how they golf together while the low tier guys kill each other off.....

  3. Wow, very great article chivis. We all know it was Chapo sons that took him out cause he gave up information. Just feel sorry for his parents cause they buried two of there children and who is to say they had anymore children. Again great read

    1. Maybe alot of restructuring within the CDS the last 7yrs he’s been locked up. He came back thinking Mayo might still have control and in fact might be retired. Maybe he thought he can come back and be ok. New Bosses the Chapitos or or other bosses had no room for him and just ordered the hit.

    2. @9:27 I see ya point of view and it totally makes sense. He just should have stayed in the U.S!

  4. Thanks, Chivis. Finally a little more info. They are very tight lipped about this.

    1. Yes! e.g. the stake out and abduction details.

      BTW I can attest to the fact U.S. agencies are tight lipped about if or if not he was wearing a monitor. By federal law all inmates on supervised surveillance must wear one. Either way, so many questions. My usual sources are not talking. That makes me even more suspicious....

    2. I've known a few people who were on federal supervision out of La Tuna who didn't have a monitor. Going through pre trail the amount of people i saw at the federal building with a monitor was very few.

      Another thing that you mentioned a while ago was that most Mexican citizens get supervised release.

      Per US v. Azcona-Polanco

      Immigrants who have been convicted of a deportable offense are presumptively exempt from discretionary supervised release — deportation is essentially automatic, so imposing supervised release mainly serves to enhance any subsequent punishment for illegal reentry. But courts are allowed to impose supervised release on defendants who will be deported in individual cases, on the theory that the extra punishment will be an extra deterrent against re-entry...

      What kinds of visa did he have? He did go to the boxing fight and traveled he must have had a travel visa, B1/B2... Not a work visa... How is an undocumented person supposed to work seeing as it's a requirement of supervised release?

      IMO I think he did snitch and was probably expected to continue and testify down the road against Mayo's son... Chino bounced the first minute he could.

    3. You are right...I should have said with his type of conviction and length of term. The fact that the agency will not confirm or deny makes little sense.

      He had counterfeit travel documents.

      Thanks and goodnight

    4. You guys seriously think Chino wore his ankle bracelet to Sinaloa?? Haha...ya'll crazy. All this crap about FBI internal chips and El Chino trying to locate El Mayo for the FEDS. That would NEVER be allowed to happen.

      Mayo is not stupid and there is a reason why El Mayo is free. Not to mention the fact that the Mexican government is protecting Mayo.

      You want to see war? Destruction? Death? Arrest El Mayo and see what follows in the vacuum.

    5. MONITOR can easily be remove.snap crackle pop
      Maybe nano implant
      As belly button Ring.

    6. Whoa hang on cowboy...I surely did not say or imply such an absurdity. My question is a simple one. Was he wearing a monitor? there are two answers, either answer is not good for U.S.

    7. Who said anything about wearing an ankle bracelet to Sinaloa? Way to jump to conclusions. Some on supervised release wear them some don't. Obviously he didn't have one. Had he had one, it would have notified the feds he crossed into Mexico or that he removed it. It was his PO that found out when he wasn't no longer at his apartment.
      So the question becomes, why wasn't he wearing one? Especially with his desire to return to Mexico.

    8. Those ankle bracelets are easy to cut off. My cell mate cut his off and dropped it off at a post office. If thats what you guys are talkimg about

    9. @1039 it wouldnt matter if he was wearing one. They come off so easy. U have a good amount of time before they try to locate u also. So an ankle monitor wouldnt even slow him down

    10. the point is swooshing over your head 6:59. However using that premise instead of my point, there is much to do in this case. cutting off the monitor, sends the alarm, they know where he is headed, they could fortify the pedestrian gates and drive through and have a good shot of recapture if he went thru those. e.g. san ysidro otay. most likely he was dropped off. thereby using the ped gate

      worth a try. without a monitor it is upon the next appt. which was days.

    11. Yeah, um that is only in the movies. Say he did have an bracelet on he could easily cut it off & by he time the alert goes out to his PO who then has to verify his whereabouts the contact the Marshals he would be long gone.

  5. Nice job getting this article translated quickly and thoroughly! Riodoce articles are oftentimes detailed and difficult to translate word by word.

    1. Amen!! It has taken me years to grasp how to translate RioDoce. I added info and images. The door image is interesting, I played with it and cropped to reveal the bullet impacts. Def entrance and exit impacts.

    2. ok guys, I see your point. if the FEDs were to microchip Chino- he wouldn't have had any knowledge of it. Maybe they sowed it into his clothing or into shoes. I cannot see Chino agreeing with the FEDS to go to Culiacan and locate Mayo. No way!

      The Feds were undoubtedly using a Stingray (look it up on google) to track Chino's phone calls. After he got out. They had to know (the FEDS). A Stingray is a small piece of equipment (size of small suitcase), that law enforcement bring onto helicopters and airplanes for surveillance.

      What it does is create a temporary and fake cell tower and it pulls all calls/texts/data within a certain area into a data vacuum. It basically allows an officer in a helicopter three miles away the ability to watch your house and intercept any calls coming out.

      Not sure if Chino knew that this existed. He may of thought that he could buy a burner phone and get away with it. NO SIR! Not anymore, you see?

      Two things could have happened-

      1.)The FEDS had already assumed Chino was gonna run to Culiacan and put a chip somewhere on his belongings without him knowing.

      2.)The FEDS used the Stingray and tracked Chino's calls from a burner phone and found out he was gonna make a break for Mexico. The FEDS then acted quickly and got into Chino's house in San Diego when he was not home to bug his belongings with a tracker/ mic.

      The key thing to remember about the Stingray Technology. First, once they have located you, the physical person, from the air or from following in a car, all they have to do is wait till you make a call. They then filter through all the calls the Stingray picks up in the area until they find your call.

      Second, once they know the number you are using, it then becomes easy, because now, they can just track that number using normal cell towers.

      This is happening everyday above the USA and Mexico, too, probably. Love you guys...keep the debate going!!!

    3. You cant run a helicopter 24-7- a drone, yes

      And wasnt he basically kidnapped from his house?? Or qm i remembering wrong?
      They couldve used 1 of the 100 tunnels they have to cross into mexico. No need to use "pedestrian gates" -
      And what if he didnt have a phone?? The feds arent sneaking into chinos house to bug his clothes- and that microchip shit is 100% bs

  6. Replies
    1. Cheyo is laying low but still very very active. Being smart, a little like his father was. 100

  7. We will probably never know the reason of why he returned to Sinaloa, he was not stupid, and he knew he could be killed while in the US he was safe.

    1. He WOULD be hunted
      any which way
      Even up
      What a game,money hidden in Mexico perhaps
      To actually think you
      U can go back
      Why cant these guy just chill.move to Newfoundland several Mexican cantinas
      Become EH nobody

  8. I question many of his social media uploads, doubtful they were all him.

  9. Thank God this piece of shit is Dead Fucking Punk Bitch Snitch

    1. Really? You woulda sang like Mariah Carey in his situation.i can't stand people that talk that bs when 95% of us would do the same if facing life

  10. Well written as always Chivis. I believe his Arrogance made him think he was that Valuable to the Cartel that a would be forgiven. After coming from a Good family he has not only destroyed countless Victims and their families but look at the destruction to his own family, his girl, sister brother in law.
    I really feel for his Daughter Paris her Mother n Father both killed now she will grow up without Parents and the Pain that goes with it. In this story I hope there's a Happy Ending with her living a Long, Happy and Fullfilling life

  11. Another great article! I had heard, he and mayito gordo were able to attend that mayweather fight in Vegas all those years ago, cause they Got into the United States by using one of the tunnels.

  12. When he was released, who would support him for those 51 months? Meaning, who was paying his rent? Do they give him a work visa? Kind of odd that they expect a deportable person to stick around when there is nothing here for him.

  13. This was such a great article. I'm reading it at 1AM. I have work in 5 hours lol. Beautiful to read.

  14. Serafín was arrested 11/13 in Nogales, Az. Chino was caught five months later (according to the RioDoce article).

    Isn't it possible that Serafin snitched on Chino? Serafin was released 11/18. Less time than Chino I believe.

  15. I wasn't trying to do the whole "Chapo snitched" crap, but I wonder if Chino thought Serafin fingered him out since he was caught after serafins arrest and decided to do the same to him.

    Just a thought.

  16. Any info on it being a possible internal war?

  17. Chivis can you provide examples of when Los Antrax fought against El Chapo's men ?
    From all I have read El Peña 20 was part of Los Antrax. Also M1 and Macho Prieto helped formed los Antrax in the beginning before they became enemies.

    1. It was always said that some of the killings of Los Antrax

      Roque, and Pocho, the one killed in the soccer game were internal. Also, Chikillo Antrax in 2014.

  18. He leaves behind a big void in the cartel, his legacy will not be forgotten.

    1. Ehhhhh... I'm pretty sure he's been forgotton... Wait for it... Wait... NOW.

  19. Chino was caught only two months later in December, that was in Amsterdam customs, he was extradited to the US 7 months later.

    I liked that the article clarified that Los Antrax was more friends and family than a enforcement team, although what Chino pleaded guilty to, he was guilty of. I believe he was higher than that though, in some sense. He sent his own product north, and abroad, as well as facilitating work to Los Aquiles, Atlantes, in Tijuana.

    1. I do not think it is about being higher up in the cartel to have access to sell large amounts of drugs in the USA. I think any ranking member starting at the lowest point (hawks, sicario, etc.)has access to drugs that can be sold.

      If you are Chino and you know a few large buyers in the USA, then you only need a phone and a mule. Drugs are way cheap in Sinaloa.

      El Chino could buy ten kilos of coca, 10 kilos of meth and 5 kilos of heroin dirt cheap locally, then send it to the USA border. As long as the deal goes thru and the money returns, all is gud. Chino invested close to $30,000 dollars and makes a %1500 return.

      Like I said, all you need is the money to buy it in Sinaloa. Be able to know someone you trust who is a good citizen willing to transport the drugs to/across the border.

      And lastly, be willing to have people in the USA you can trust to front the narcotics to. 95% percent of large deals are fronted. That is why the money follows in different times and vehicles. It is sent back to Mexico as it is made. Perhaps weekly.

      I live in Iowa. My nephew, who is Laosian, had a tight Mexican friend. They grew up together. Well, turns out this friend was a Sinaloa cartel member. Nicest guy ever. I started to believe it when I saw the assault rifles, handguns and noticed the fact that all the guys in the Mexican guys group wore a gold medallion.

      It was a skull with what looked like an anchor behind it. I noticed my nephew had one on. Three weeks later, Kan (my nephew) told me that a 350 lb. shipment of marijuana was on its way via train to Iowa.

      I did not believe him. Sure enough, he calls me over to his apartment and there are 6 giant suitcases filled with coffee grounds and blocks of fresh weed. They also put another surprise in the package- a kilo of uncut cocaine.

      Ya, it was a blast and a blur.....I was married to Kans Aunt. So, I wasnt around when the boys hired all the strippers from a club in town to come to his place and they did and they were there till the next afternoon. They all did over an ounce of this pure ass cocaine.

      Anyway, as long as drugs are cheap as hell in Mexico, there will always be these "cartels" that want to capitalize on these drugs. It is just that when they get to powerful, they want to branch off into other things. Petrol theft, extortion, virtual/real kidnappings, auto theft, etc.

      A small investment, a phone, a mule and a friend in the USA. That is all you need.

    2. Interesting story- the problem with that is theres hardly anyone you can TRUST- unless their close family and youve worked with them before...and even then, no guarantees. You make it sound so easy lol- get caught with that free kilo and be prepared to 10+ years in the feds

  20. Where is the spalling from grenade impacts?

  21. Is the pic of him and mayito gordo before or after his escape?

  22. Sorry, late to this conversation but hope this helpful for context: Electronic monitoring is employed typically during the pretrial phase as one of the interventions to address inmate overcrowding both at the county jails and also BOP but the conditions are very strict, must be a non-violent offender etc. again, this is for PRE TRIAL.

    The other, newer utilization is more controversial but is now being employed more readily due to COVID19 which as we know, has had a tremendous impact on the federal and California state prison system. The pressure to reduce capacity is at an alert level we have never seen.

    Thus, cases where an inmate is within 10 months of release at BOP are under review for possible transition to “home confinement” for the remainder of the sentence.

    Under BOP’s rules for “Home Confinement”, electronic monitoring is part and parcel. What can vary is the housing that the inmate is assigned to—I.e. “community care center” vs independent housing. Given the current COVID precautions, community release housing is not an easy first choice.

    Therefore, it’s likely that he was allowed to serve the last part of his sentence in home confinement, and thus with an electronic monitor, due to COVID 19 demands on reducing inmate populations.

    His charges involve trafficking and although we can infer what that involves, if his actual charge does not include bodily harm, he would be a candidate for “home confinement” per the rule of law.

    He was reported missing by the BOP parole agency “officially” within 2 days of his release, which is likely when he destroyed the GPS monitor. The BOP parole agency isn’t the Mexican Marines. They don’t have the resources to chase someone to Mexico the second a monitor is destroyed.

    It does affect the overall program’s outcome numbers more than anything else. It is less likely to be employed when the program fails.

    Hope that helps! (And FYI, I’m not an officer, just a doctor who has worked for many years on the inside— you pick up this info along the way.


    Chivas check this corrido out talks about chino and him fucking up


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