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Press Release

Large-Scale Drug Trafficking Organization Leader Sentenced to Life in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas

EL PASO, Texas – The leader of a large-scale drug trafficking organization was sentenced in a federal court in El Paso Thursday to life in prison.

According to court documents, Jorge Sanchez Morales aka “Capulina,” 47, ran a drug trafficking organization, spanning from Mexico to El Paso and on to Atlanta, from 2002 to 2019. In the early 2000s, Sanchez Morales worked out of Atlanta, trafficking cocaine and other drugs with Sinaloa Cartel operatives.

In 2014, Sanchez Morales returned to Mexico to run his organization, which would then primarily traffic methamphetamine, often in liquid form. Sanchez Morales’ organization imported liquid methamphetamine from Juarez, Mexico into El Paso, and then transported it to Atlanta concealed in the fuel tanks of semi tractors.  In Atlanta, the liquid methamphetamine was converted to a crystalline form and distributed. Sanchez Morales oversaw the operation on behalf of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, otherwise known as CJNG.

On Nov. 8, 2022, an El Paso jury found Sanchez Morales guilty of conspiracies to import and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine, conspiracy to commit international money laundering, and laundering monetary instruments.  The court sentenced Sanchez Morales to life in prison for the drug conspiracies and to 20 years imprisonment for conspiring and laundering monetary instruments.  The court ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

“This sentence serves as another step forward in the U.S. government’s efforts to disrupt and dismantle some of the most dangerous drug trafficking organizations we face,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas.  “My office is committed to working with our law enforcement partners, within this district and beyond, to hold accountable those who attempt to poison our communities and carelessly endanger Americans.”

“The men and women of DEA are laser-focused in our mission of defeating the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels,” said Special Agent in Charge Greg Millard of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Division. “We will continue to tirelessly target these cartels and their associates involved in the manufacture or distribution of methamphetamine and other illicit, synthetic poisons that are killing Americans at record rates.”

The DEA, HSI, United States Border Patrol, El Paso Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety and Socorro Police Department investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven Spitzer and Nathan Brown prosecuted the case.


Updated April 7, 2023

Drug Trafficking