High-Ranking Member of Mexican “Los Zetas” Cartel Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy Charges
Jesus Enrique Rejon Aguilar, aka “Mamito” and “Caballero,” a high ranking member of the “Los Zetas” drug cartel, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to import multi-ton quantities of cocaine and marijuana into the United States, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Administrator Michele M. Leonhart of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Rejon Aguilar, 36, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Barbara J. Rothstein in the District of Columbia. Rejon Aguilar was extradited to the United States in September 2012 and was ordered detained in federal custody pending trial.
On Nov. 4, 2010, Rejon Aguilar and 19 co-defendants were charged in a superseding indictment with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana for importation into the United States. The indictment charges that between 2000 and 2010, members of Los Zetas, including Rejon Aguilar, engaged in a conspiracy with members of the Gulf Cartel in an arrangement referred to as the “Company” to import drugs into the United States. Rejon Aguilar was an original member of Los Zetas and held a high ranking position with the Company.
“As a leader of the Company’s drug trafficking operation, Rejon Aguilar ensured that mass quantities of cocaine and marijuana were brought into the United States for distribution,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “The Justice Department is committed to working with its law enforcement partners to bring cartel members and associates to justice for their crimes.”
“As an original and high-ranking member of the Los Zetas cartel, Jesus Enrique Rejon Aguilar was responsible for funneling massive amounts of marijuana and cocaine into the United States while using violence to intimidate anyone that stood in his way,” said DEA Administrator Leonhart. “Rejon Aguilar’s plea today was possible only with the strength and power of international law enforcement cooperation. DEA, along with our Mexican counterparts, are committed to bringing violent criminals like Rejon Aguilar, to justice.”
According to the indictment, the Company transported shipments of cocaine and marijuana by motor vehicles from Mexico to cities in Texas for distribution to other cities within the United States. The indictment alleges that Rejon Aguilar, his co-defendants and others organized, directed and carried out various acts of violence to retaliate against and to intimidate anyone who interfered with, or who were perceived to potentially interfere with, the cocaine and marijuana trafficking activities of the Company.
On April 15, 2009, under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, the President identified Los Zetas as a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker. On March 24, 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) named Rejon Aguilar as a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker. On July 25, 2011, an executive order was issued that blocks the transfer, payment or export of property belonging to certain transnational criminal organizations, including Los Zetas.
The department expressed its gratitude and appreciation to the government of Mexico for its assistance in this matter.
At sentencing, Rejon Aguilar faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The case is being prosecuted by trial attorneys from the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in the extradition. The investigation in this case was led by the DEA’s Houston Field Division and the DEA Bilateral Investigation Unit.