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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Leader of Drug Trafficking Organization Convicted of International Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

A woman from Culiacan, Mexico was convicted after a seven-day jury trial for her role in an international drug trafficking conspiracy to transport thousands of kilograms of cocaine and dozens of pounds of methamphetamine into the United States.

Luz Irene Fajardo Campos, aka “La Comadre,” “La Madrina,” and “La Doña,” was convicted of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and to manufacture and/or distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine in Mexico, Colombia, Honduras and elsewhere, knowing or intending that these substances would be unlawfully imported into the United States, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 959 and 963.  Sentencing for the defendant is set for March 26, 2020.  U.S. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the District of Columbia presided over the trial and will impose sentence. 

According to the evidence introduced at trial, Fajardo Campos ran a drug trafficking organization with her adult children that was aligned with the Sinaloa cartel. She sourced cocaine directly from Colombia, employed pilots, and brokered the purchase of jets to fly the cocaine to Central America and Mexico. She partnered with other traffickers in the Sinaloa cartel and her children for further distribution of the cocaine into the United States. She also oversaw the importation of precursor chemicals into Mexico, which she processed into methamphetamine at a laboratory located in the desert outside Hermosillo, Mexico. She distributed this methamphetamine in Tucson, Arizona, and Jackson, Mississippi, among other locations.

“Luz Irene Fajardo Campos ran a sophisticated, multinational drug trafficking organization aligned with the Sinaloa cartel that pumped large quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine into communities across the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.  “Her conviction yesterday demonstrates that the Department of Justice will aggressively pursue drug traffickers who send their poison to the United States, wherever they may be.”

“Yesterday’s verdict clearly shows that no matter where drug traffickers operate, DEA agents will relentlessly pursue those whose actions wreak havoc on American communities,” said Phoenix Field Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Apolonio Ruiz Jr.  “The Fajardo Campos conviction should send a message to drug traffickers throughout the world that DEA is committed to finding those who profit from Americans suffering from addiction.” 

The case was investigated by DEA’s Tucson, Arizona Office and DEA’s Mexico City Country Office. 

Trial Attorneys Cole Radovich, Anthony Aminoff and Kaitlin Sahni, and paralegal Marilu Vargas of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section (NDDS) prosecuted this case, with significant assistance provided by the NDDS Judicial Attachés in Bogotá, Colombia, the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, and the Criminal Division’s Office of Enforcement Operations.

Updated December 19, 2019