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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 3, 2022

Mexican Cartel Member Sentenced to Life in Prison for Violating RICO Statute

EL PASO – A Mexican national was sentenced today to life in prison for his role in the Sinaloa Cartel’s narcotics distribution operations.

According to court documents, Arturo Shows Urquidi, aka “Chous,” 50, of  Juarez, was a former Chihuahua State police officer and a long-time member of the Sinaloa Cartel under Ismael “Mayo” Zambada-Garcia.   Shows assisted in the security of stash houses where thousands of kilograms of cocaine were unloaded from tanker trucks and then reloaded with weapons and money headed for Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico.  During his involvement with the Sinaloa Cartel, the Cartel successfully imported thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the United States worth over $1 billion.

On October 22, 2021, a federal jury in El Paso convicted Shows of one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization statute (RICO) for his role as a member of the Sinaloa Cartel; one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine and marijuana; one count of conspiracy to import cocaine and marijuana; one count of conspiracy to launder money; and one count of conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes.

“Investigating and prosecuting members of dangerous transnational criminal organizations remains a top priority of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff.  “This sentence is a significant step in holding the members of the Sinaloa Cartel accountable for the crimes they have committed for years. The prosecution of this case clearly demonstrates how strong cooperation between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies can effectively combat the illegal activity of transnational criminal organizations.”

“The sentencing of Arturo Shows Urquidi is the culmination of years of work to investigate and bring to justice a significant member of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel,” said Greg Millard, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Division. “It demonstrates our commitment, along with that of our U.S. and foreign law enforcement partners, to pursue violent drug traffickers who seek to destroy our communities for profit.”

“The sentencing of Shows Urquidi is another strike against members of the Sinaloa Cartel and highlights the long arm of the law reaching across international borders,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey R. Downey, El Paso Field Office. “Today exemplifies our commitment to prevent violence and criminal activity from poisoning the communities of El Paso and our sister city, Ciudad Juarez. It also sends a clear message that we and our partners will relentlessly pursue and prosecute the leaders and members of these violent drug enterprises.” 

“Our ability to bring to justice extremely violent members of criminal organizations, such as the Sinaloa Cartel, is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our Federal, State, and local law enforcement partners that assisted in this multi-year investigation.  It is a priority of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Explosives and Firearms (ATF), to target these organizations that are responsible for transnational gun crime and violence” said ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Joshua Hernandez, Dallas Division.

In addition to the above charges, Shows’ co-defendant, Mario Iglesias-Villegas, aka “Dos,” “El 2,” “Delta,” “Parka,” “Grim Reaper,” 36, of Villa Ahumada, was also found guilty of five counts of violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity; one count of conspiracy to kill in a foreign country; and one count of kidnapping.  Iglesias is scheduled for sentencing on March 24, 2022.

The Sinaloa Cartel’s criminal activity in the Ciudad Juarez and El Paso area included the violence that occurred during the war between the Juarez Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel, which led to the death of thousands of people in Ciudad Juarez and throughout the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Durango.  The violence gave rise to Ciudad Juarez being named the “deadliest city in the world.”

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 DEA, FBI, and ATF together with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement–Homeland Security Investigations, United States Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection, United States Marshals Service, El Paso Police Department, El Paso Sheriff’s Office, and the Texas Department of Public Safety investigated this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Antonio Franco, Kristal Wade, Kyle Myers, and Michael Williams  prosecuted the case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated March 3, 2022