Captured Mex Drug Lord to Chicago Court: “I had the DEA’s blessing for 5 years;” Presents Documents
An accused Mexican drug lord being held on charges in the United States has filed an unusual motion in federal court: He’s challenging the U.S. government, saying he had been working with its own federal agents in Mexico.
Vicente “El Vicentillo” Zambada is one of the most senior drug trafficking figures in U.S. custody. He’s accused of working for the Sinaloa Cartel, a powerful drug trafficking organization in Mexico. In fact, he’s the eldest son of one of its leaders. Zambada was arrested in Mexico City in 2009, extradited to Illinois and is accused of trafficking nearly $6 billion in cocaine. He’s contracted some of the highest profile criminal defense lawyers in the country, including George Santangelo, a mob lawyer for John Gotti’s Gambino Crime Family.
In 2003, the United States indicted Zambada in a massive anti-drug operation that stretched from Colombia to Mexico and into several U.S. cities: Tucson, Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York, Virginia and Rhode Island. Nearly 250 people were arrested in “Operation Trifecta” and it was among the first indictments filed against Zambada’s father, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, now one of the top leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Last month, his attorneys filed a simple but explosive one page motion in federal court. They say the FBI, the DEA and various Dept. of Homeland Security agents in Mexico were actually working with Zambada for more than five years.