Sinaloa drug cartel leaders indicted under RICO for U.S. murders and kidnappings
A federal grand jury in Texas indicted two leaders of the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel, as well as 22 others in the organization’s top leadership, accusing them of sweeping conspiracies to commit murder, kidnapping, money laundering and drug distribution in the U.S.
The Western District of Texas federal grand jury indicted Sinaloa cartel leaders “El Chapo” Guzman, “Mayo” Zambada and the almost two dozen other high-ranking members of the group under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act that targets the leaders of criminal organizations even though they may not have directly committed crimes, but managed the criminal activities of others.
Forbes Magazine listed Guzman as the 10th richest man in Mexico (1,140th in the world) in 2011. The financial magazine also calls him the “biggest druglord of all time.” Reportedly, the DEA strongly believes he has surpassed the influence and reach of the infamous Pablo Escobar.
Along with the money laundering and drug distribution charges, the indictment accuses Guzman and Zambada of directing the 2009 kidnap and murder of an American citizen in Horizon City, TX in retaliation for the loss of a shipment of marijuana. It also accuses the men of overseeing the 2010 kidnap and murder conspiracy aimed at an American citizen and two members of his family at a wedding ceremony in El Paso, TX. In that incident, according to the indictment, a bridegroom, his brother and his uncle were all kidnapped during the ceremony and subsequently tortured and murdered. Their bodies were discovered by Juarez, TX police a few days later in the bed of an abandoned pickup truck. Additionally, a fourth person was killed during the kidnapping at the wedding, it said.