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Press Release

Sinaloa Cartel Leader Jaime Huerta-Tizoc Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Conspiracy and Agrees to Forfeit $2 Million

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

Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam L. Braverman (619) 546-6717


NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY February 23, 2017


Sinaloa Cartel leader Jaime Huerta-Tizoc pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and money laundering charges in federal court today, admitting that he was responsible for moving tons of cocaine and marijuana and millions of dollars in proceeds across the U.S.-Mexico border.


Huerta-Tizoc appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin. The defendant was charged in a sealed indictment on August 19, 2016. A sealed arrest warrant was issued that same day. On December 15, 2016, was arrested at the San Ysidro, California Port of Entry as he attempted to enter into the United States.


In connection with the entry of his guilty plea, Huerta-Tizoc admitted that he was a high-level leader of the Sinaloa Cartel and that his primary responsibility was transporting large quantities of narcotics on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel for importation from Mexico into the United States. Huerta-Tizoc utilized a fleet of tractor-trailers to transport ton quantity levels of both cocaine and marijuana from Mexico into the United States, including the Southern District of California. He also admitted that he agreed to transport millions of dollars in narcotics proceeds from the United States to Mexico. As part of his plea agreement, Huerta-Tizoc agreed to forfeit $2 million in United States Currency as proceeds of this conspiracy.


“Any day a Sinaloa cartel leader is no longer free to bring ton quantities of life-crushing drugs to our communities is a good day,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson. “As long as people are dying from overdoses and lives are being destroyed by illicit drugs, we will pursue the cartels.”


“Today, a dangerous drug trafficker pleaded guilty to his crimes,” said DEA San Diego Special Agent in Charge William Sherman. “Keeping this poison off the streets of our neighborhoods is our number one priority in the face of the addiction epidemic we are facing in the U.S. today.”


Sentencing is set for May 12, 2017, at 9 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw.


DEFENDANT                                Criminal Case No. 16-CR-1895-DMS


Jaime Huerta-Tizoc                        Age: 41




Conspiracy to Import Cocaine and Marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 952, 960 and 963.


Penalties: Mandatory Minimum 10 years and Maximum Life in Prison, $10,000,000 fine, $100 Special Assessment, Supervised Release up to Life


Conspiracy to Launder Money, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1956(a)(2)(A) and (h).


Penalties: Maximum 20 years in prison, a fine of the greater of twice the value of the property involved in the transaction or $500,000, $100 Special Assessment, Supervised Release up to 5 years




Drug Enforcement Administration

Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations

Customs and Border Protection Office of Border Patrol

San Diego Law Enforcement Coordination Center

Homeland Security Investigations

Internal Revenue Service

Updated February 23, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CAS17-0223-Huerta