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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Reputed Sinaloa Drug Cartel Members Set To Go On Trial Monday In El Paso

Guerrero” for Borderland Beat

Two reputed Sinaloa cartel members, including one known as the “Grim Reaper" who is accused in the abduction and murder of a groom during a Juárez wedding, are set to go on trial Monday in El Paso. 

Arturo Shows Urquidi and Mario Iglesias-Villegas are set to stand trial in the Western District of Texas at the Albert Armendariz Sr. Federal Courthouse in Downtown, according to court records.

Arturo Shows Urquidi

Jury selection will begin about 9 a.m., with opening arguments expected to begin soon after jurors have been picked.

Urquidi and Iglesias-Villegas were among 24 alleged Sinaloa cartel members indicted in 2012 over their roles in the drug organization.

Urquidi is facing five federal charges: continuing criminal enterprise; conspiracy to possess narcotics; attempt and conspiracy to import and export narcotics; laundering of monetary instruments; and conspiracy to possess firearm/drug traffickers and aiding and abetting.

Iglesias-Villegas faces 12 federal charges, including the same five charges as Urquidi.

He also faces charges of conspiracy to kill in a foreign country; kidnapping aiding and abetting, and five charges of racketeering activity involving violent crimes and aiding and abetting.

The 2012 indictments included Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the reputed head of the cartel, and Ismael Zambada Garcia, who allegedly took over the drug cartel after Guzman was arrested in Mexico in 2016.

Guzman was extradited to the U.S. in 2017. He went on trial in 2019 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

He was convicted on several drug trafficking, weapons and operating a criminal enterprise charges. Guzman was sentenced to life in prison, plus 30 years.

Guzman’s case in the Western District of Texas remains pending, according to court records.

Zambada still is wanted by the U.S. government on several criminal charges related to the Sinaloa drug cartel.

A $15 million reward is being offered for information leading to Zambada's arrest and conviction.

Allegations in court documents

Iglesias-Villegas, also known as “Delta,” “Grim Reaper” and “El Dos,” allegedly assisted in the abduction of three people May 7, 2010, during a wedding at a church in Juárez, according to a complaint affidavit.

The groom, who was from Columbus, New Mexico, his brother and his uncle were abducted, interrogated and later killed, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas officials said after the 2012 indictments.

The victims' bodies were discovered by Juárez police a few days later in the bed of an abandoned pickup, officials said.

Iglesias-Villegas was one of the drivers of the vehicles used during the kidnapping of the victims, the affidavit states. The victims are only identified as RMV, JMV and GMA in court documents.

Urquidi, also known as “Chous,” was a “core member” of the cartel’s Juárez operation, according to the federal indictment.

He allegedly participated in the unloading and loading of cocaine, drug proceeds, and firearms at the drug cartel’s warehouses in Juárez, the indictment states.

Urquidi was among the most-wanted fugitives sought by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in El Paso before his arrest in 2018.

Status of other defendants
Several other defendants indicted in El Paso in 2012 have pleaded guilty. Ivan Sanchez-Hernandez, a former member of the Juárez municipal policed pleaded guilty Feb. 28, 2020, to one count of continuing criminal enterprise. As part of a plea agreement, several other drug and weapon charges were dismissed, according to court records. He was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison.

Mario De La O Lopez, a Chihuahua State Police officer, pleaded guilty June 15, 2017, to one count of continuing criminal enterprise. Several other drug and weapon charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement, according to court records. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Luis Arellano-Romero pleaded guilty July 30, 2020, to laundering of monetary instruments. Several other drug and weapon charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement, according to court records. He was sentenced to more than two years in prison.

Gabino Salas-Valenciano, Jesus Rodrigo Fierro-Ramirez and Emigdio Martinez Jr. died while their cases were pending in federal court, court records show

The cases against the other 14 defendants are pending in federal court.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like they are going to give him life in prison either way.


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