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Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Texas DPS Arrests Son Of Jimmy Chagra On Drug Dealing Charges

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Son of late El Paso drug trafficker accused of dealing drugs to Fort Bliss soldiers

The son of the late El Paso drug trafficker Jimmy Chagra was arrested for allegedly selling cocaine, fentanyl and LSD, including to Fort Bliss soldiers, Texas Department of Public Safety officials said.

Texas DPS special agents arrested 44-year-old Jamiel Alexander Chagra Nichols on Friday, Aug. 18, after more than 21,900 dosages of LSD were allegedly found at his El Paso home during a multi-agency drug investigation, DPS officials said.

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A photo released by DPS shows some of the LSD hallucinogen blotter papers, some decorated with images of "The Simpsons" cartoon character Homer Simpson and a Grateful Dead-style logo.

Texas DPS investigators on Friday seized more than 21,900 doses of LSD during a search of the home of Jamiel Alexander Chagra Nichols in EI Paso. Courtesy Texas Department Of Public Safety

Texas DPS investigators on Friday seized more than 21,900 doses of LSD during a search of the home of Jamiel Alexander Chagra Nichols in El Paso.

The search warrant at the home was carried out by Texas DPS special agents working with the Fentanyl Overdose Response Team of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in El Paso, officials said.

The arrest was the culmination of a six-month investigation that allegedly found that Nichols was distributing illegal drugs to El Pasoans, including soldiers stationed at Fort Bliss, officials said.

The investigation included help from the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigations Division, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Border Patrol and the FBI El Paso.

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Nichols faces four state counts of manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance with offenses dating back to March and April of this year, according to El Paso County Jail records.

Jamiel Alexander Chagra Nichols Courtesy El Paso County Sheriff's Office

Nichols was released from jail Monday on a total surety bond of $28,000, according to a jail log. There is no lawyer listed for him on court records.

Jimmy Chagra, one of El Paso's most infamous drug traffickers

Nichols is the son of Jamiel Alexander "Jimmy" Chagra, a carpet salesman and high-roller gambler who was also one of El Paso's most infamous drug traffickers of the 1970s.

The elder Chagra was accused of leading the 1979 conspiracy to assassinate U.S. District Judge John H. Wood, a federal judge nicknamed "Maximum John" who was scheduled to preside over Chagra's trial on drug charges.

Wood was fatally shot in the back on May 29, 1979, outside his home in San Antonio sparking one of the largest federal investigations in U.S. history.

Jimmy Chagra would be acquitted of most charges in Wood's death, but was found guilty of obstructing the investigation. He would later be convicted on various drug and conspiracy charges, including a failed 1978 assassination attempt on a federal prosecutor.

After serving 24 years in prison, Jimmy Chagra was released on parole in 2003. He died of cancer in 2008 at the age of 63 while living in a trailer camp in Mesa, Arizona.

Texas Department of Public Safety

Jamiel "Jimmy" Chagra was escorted into the U.S. Courthouse in El Paso in the early 1980s.

06/01/1979 Jimmy Chagra

09/20/1989 - Jimmy Chagra, center, is escorted into court by U.S. Marshalls. Chagra and his wife are suing the IRS for the return of jewelry seized in 1981. Chagra is serving several terms in prison on drug charges and obstruction of justice in the 1979 murder of a Federal judge.

02/28/1979 Jimmy Chagra (second from left) flanked by lawyer-brother Joe Chagra (left) walks to courthouse with other federal prisoners including Bandido Ronald Paul Drummond (far right)

03/28/1980 - Jimmy Chagra, left

Joe Chagra 1982

03/06/1979 - Mrs. Josephine Chagra, mother of slain attorney Lee Chagra and Salvator Michel Caruana in front of the courthouse.

08/04/1978 - Lee Chagra El Paso criminal defense lawver and brother of Jimmy Chagra.

12/30/1984 - Patsy Chagra stands by portraits of her deceased father, Abdou Chagra, left, and her murdered brother, Lee.

04/15/1982. El Paso Times.Liz Chagra wife of convicted drug dealer Jimmy Chagra is escorted by and unidentified FBI agent shortly after her arrest at her home at 4003 Santa Anita. Liz and her brother-in-law, lawyer Joe Chagra were both arrested Thursday afternoon by the FBI.

A 1994 file photo of former El Paso attorney Joe Chagra. Chagra died Sunday, December 8, 1996 as a result of injuries suffered in an auto accident Friday, December 6, 1996. Chagra, a former El Paso defense attorney, achieved notoriety in 1979 for his role in the assassination of US District Judge John Wood in San Antonio. Chagra served six years in federal prison following his conspiracy conviction.

UNDATED - Federal Marshals escort Joe Chagra from the Federal Court House after his indictment for conspiracy in the murder of Judge John Wood, obstruction of justice and tax evasion and tax fraud.

03/03/1980 - Jimmy Chagra is led to the courthouse.

Charles Harrelson

1980 photo of Elizabeth Chagra, wife of convicted drug smuggler Jimmy Chagra.

6/02/1979 - Jimmy Chagra, right, is escorted from El Paso's federal courthouse Friday by defense attorney Oscar Goodman after Chagra was arraigned on charges named in drug conspiracy indictments. At left is Joe Chagra, Jimmy's younger brother and one of his defense counsels.

El Paso Times


  1. Dayummmm kid came a long way from his dad/family
    Coulda done anything else but this

    Read their book dirty dealings by gary cartwright
    Crazy insight
    Woody harrelsons dad - assasin (alleged)
    Corruplt El Paso Officials
    Juarez guys running around south of border/colombia
    Bruno Jordan younger brother of dea phil jordan was murdered with an uzi for "his truck" bya mexicsn teen... Then had the best mexican defense attorney
    Someone took pics of Brunos body at the funeral and ran away when chased down....
    When they raided 1 of ACF's mansions, there was a picture framed on a desk of phil jordan..
    Wonder who did that

    1 of these guys was a criminal defense attorney too
    Coulda just chilld & made money that way
    He wanted to be like the Juarez guys but on this side of the border

    Crazy story, still unknown ona lotta things
    Like who killed 1 of the chagras

  2. FOR SURE Jimmy Chagra was moving Rafa's sensemilla weed in the 70s and 80s!

  3. If he was worth 100mil you can only imagine how much Rafa was worth back then… let alone today

  4. Chagra's used to live near my wife in El Paso. She grew up around them. Odd enough her dad was a US Federal Prosecutor.

  5. No country for old men.

  6. the hitman was woody harrelsons dad the actor!!! small world we live in

    1. He had a diverse ammo stock, hitting cranial and fallopian targets with lead n leche, sharp shooter he was.

  7. Any word on the hairline of the guy walking Jimmy to the courthouse? Was he a jet fighter test pilot before enclosed cockpits were invented?


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