Joaquin Guzman, also known as El Chapo, is in the middle of a federal trial. The former drug kingpin and leader of one of Mexico’s most feared cartels had some of his empire’s details released during the fourth week of the trial.
Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, former head of the Colombian North Valley Cartel along with other associates and law enforcement gave details on El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel.
El Chapo, whose wealth is estimated to be $4 billion, used Ramirez and others to help transport cocaine shipments. Ramirez recalled a time when a captain that was hired to transport 20,000 kilograms of cocaine between Colombia and Mexico’s coast started to hallucinate, claiming that he had started to see ghosts.
The captain sunk the ship filled with cocaine because he feared that the US Coast Guard was going to intercept it. El Chapo had hired a team of divers to recover the goods, and a chemist was brought on board in an attempt to salvage as much of the goods as possible.
Ramirez recalls that as many as 12 – 15 planes were being flown into Mexico per night from Colombia when he first started working with the Sinaloa cartel in 1990.
El Chapo had a submarine custom-made that would be packed with cocaine. The submarine smuggled cocaine in it until officials detected the vessel and attempted to board it using night vision goggles. Officials would capture the vessel after attempts from the crew to sink the submarine failed. They found 5,986 kilograms of cocaine on board.
"While judges have discretion to depart from sentencing guidelines, they must still adhere to the mandatory minimum sentences within the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. With respect to drug crimes, mandatory minimum sentences start at five years and ten years, depending on the weight and type of the drug. If a drug crime occurs in a school zone or other protected area, sentences and fines may be increased," explains Keller Law Offices.
The North Valley Cartel kept detailed records of their activities, allowing jurors to view spreadsheets and documents with records of drug shipments. Expenses relating to murder were documented, with around 150 murders listed as expenses.
“Tatiana” was used as the “code” to indicate murder payments of $338,776 for the killing of Luis Alfonso Ocampo Fomeque. His murder was sought after cartel members learned of his brother’s cooperation with US authorities.
El Chapo, now 61, was seen relaxed and even changed his attire at one point.
He faces life in prison on charges of conspiring to murder, money laundering, gun charges and international drug trafficking.Updated Date: 11 December 2018, 16:48