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Press Release

Alleged CJNG Cartel Enforcers Charged with Drug Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California


SAN DIEGO – A superseding indictment and arrest warrants were unsealed recently in federal court against alleged Mexican drug cartel enforcement leaders in connection with their alleged violent support of heroin and methamphetamine trafficking.

The superseding indictment, returned on March 6, 2020, plus a related indictment returned on March 16, 2021, collectively charge Edgar Herrera Pardo, aka Caiman; Carlos Lorenzo Hinojosa Guerrero, aka Cabo 96; Edgar Perez Villa, aka Cabo 89; and Israel Alejandro Vazquez-Vazquez, aka Cabo 50, among others, with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Intended for Importation, and Conspiracy to Import Controlled Substances.

According to court filings filed  by the government, Caiman, Cabo 96, Cabo 89 and Cabo 50 were leaders of a violent group of cartel enforcers, known as Los Cabos, who operated in Baja California to secure control of the region for Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación, commonly known as CJNG. Los Cabos allegedly employed rampant violence to ensure that CJNG maintained the ability to traffic drugs through Tijuana, Mexico, and into the United States through San Diego Indeed, in one approximately 6.5-month period of judicially-authorized interceptions of a group chat operated by leaders of Los Cabos, these individuals planned over 150 murders, the majority of which took place in Tijuana, according to the filings. Los Cabos’s bloody reign of terror included the murder of two teenaged United States citizens in Tijuana in November 2018, the government alleges. These teenagers were residents of Chula Vista. The government also alleges that Los Cabos targeted law enforcement in Tijuana, killing at least three police officers.

Los Cabos allegedly engaged in this violence in support of CJNG, one of the most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world.  The cartel has its hands in trafficking multiple deadly substances. It is responsible for moving tons of cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl-laced heroin into the United States.  CJNG is also a prolific methamphetamine producer and chemical importer, using precursors procured from China and India. CJNG is one of the most powerful Mexican cartels operating within the United States. 

At the same time, CJNG has contributed to a catastrophic trail of human and physical destruction in Mexico.  It is the most well-armed cartel in Mexico.  Its members willingly confront rival cartels and even the security forces of the Mexican government.  CJNG is responsible for grisly acts of violence and loss of life. 

“For too long, powerful cartels have visited unspeakable violence on Tijuana, a city that is right next door to San Diego,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Randy S. Grossman. “We will continue our campaign to end the cartels’ reign of terror and stop the flow of drugs across the border by prosecuting the highest-ranking leaders and enforcers.”

Grossman praised federal prosecutors, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations and detectives with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department for their excellent work on this case. In addition, Grossman thanked the Mexican Fiscalía General de la República, which provided significant assistance to this investigation.

“Drug cartels like Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación, also known as CJNG, continue to flood our communities with heroin and methamphetamine,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery.  “These cartels not only perpetrate violence and murders that effect our neighbors south of the border, but their drugs cause death and destruction in our own communities.  The superseding indictments and arrest warrants against violent CJNG members are testament that DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to work vigorously to identify and arrest members of these drug cartels.”

This case is the result of ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and enterprises.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.


Case Number: 19CR1274-BAS

Edgar Herrera Pardo, aka Caiman

Carlos Lorenzo Hinojosa Guerrero, aka Cabo 96, aka C96

Edgar Perez Villa, aka Cabo 89, aka Nier                                                                                          

Case Number: 21CR0861-BAS

Israel Alejandro Vazquez-Vazquez, aka Cabo 50                                             


Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances for Purpose of Unlawful Importation, in violation of Title 21 U.S.C. §§ 959, 960 and 963;

Maximum Sentence: Mandatory minimum ten years and up to life imprisonment, $10 million fine

Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances, in violation of Title 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846.

Maximum Sentence: Mandatory minimum ten years and up to life imprisonment, $10 million fine


Drug Enforcement Administration

Homeland Security Investigations

Department of Justice, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force

Department of Justice, Office of Enforcement Operations

Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs

San Diego Sheriff’s Department

*An indictment or complaint is not evidence that the defendant committed the crimes charged. The defendant is presumed innocent until the Government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated June 17, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CAS21-0614-Pardo