Alleged Sinaloa Cartel Member Extradited to the United States from Mexico for Funneling Massive Amounts of Marijuana and Cocaine into the United States
An alleged Sinaloa Cartel member is in federal custody, following his extradition from Mexico to the United States yesterday afternoon. He is expected to make his initial appearance later today in federal court in El Paso.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney John F. Bash for the Western District of Texas; Special Agent in Charge Kyle W. Williamson of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), El Paso Division; Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie, Jr., of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), El Paso Division; and, Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek, II, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Dallas Division.
Arturo Shows Urquidi aka “Chous”, age 47, is charged in an April 2012 indictment returned by a federal grand jury in El Paso. Urquidi is charged with one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity (RICO conspiracy), one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, one count of conspiracy to import into the United States five kilograms or more of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering offenses and one count of conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes.
“The Sinaloa Cartel has smuggled multi-ton quantities of cocaine and heroin into our country for decades, using intimidation, violence and murder to build and protect their criminal empire,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Williamson. “The extradition of Urquidi exemplifies the will of the international law enforcement collaboration to target, disrupt and dismantle the powerful Mexican cartels.”
“The extradition of Urquidi demonstrates that when we work together with our law enforcement partners both here and in Mexico, we can bring Sinaloa Cartel leadership and its core members to justice,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Buie.
“ATF remains committed to partnerships that combat violent crime and firearms trafficking,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Boshek. “Working together to dismantle criminal organizations improves public safety and increases social and economic stability.”
Urquidi was one of two dozen alleged high-ranking Sinaloa Cartel leaders, including Joaquin Guzman Loera aka “El Chapo” and Ismael Zambada Garcia aka “Mayo”, indicted on federal racketeering charges in April 2012. According to the indictment, Urquidi was responsible for the unloading and loading of cocaine, drug proceeds and firearms in Sinaloa Cartel warehouses in Juarez.
Last week, co-defendant Mario De La O Lopez, a former Chihuahua, Mexico state police officer, was sentenced to 324 months in federal prison in connection with the investigation into this criminal enterprise. Three defendants--Gabino Salas-Valenciano, Jesus Rodrigo Fierro-Ramirez and Emigdio Martinez, Jr.--have died since the indictment was returned in 2012. Twenty (20) defendants, including Urquidi, remain under indictment. Trial is scheduled for November 2018. Upon conviction, Urquidi faces up to life in federal prison.
This investigation resulted in the seizure of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine, thousands of pounds of marijuana in cities throughout the United States. Law enforcement also took possession of millions of dollars in drug proceeds which were destined to be returned to the Cartel in Mexico. Agents and Officers likewise seized hundreds of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition intended to be smuggled into Mexico to assist the Cartel’s battle to take control of Juarez and the local drug trafficking corridors.
The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The DEA, FBI, and ATF together with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Marshals Service, El Paso Police Department, El Paso Sheriff’s Office, and the Texas Department of Public Safety investigated this case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in the extradition. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys of the Western District of Texas.