Thursday, April 10, 2014

Zambada-Niebla, Son Of Sinaloa Cartel Druglord Cooperated With Feds And Had Pled Guilty To Multiple Federal Charges

Vicente Zambada-Niebla, Vicente Zambada-Garcia, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera and Rafael Caro Quintero

Zambada-Niebla had pleaded guilty in April 2013 and had been cooperating with feds under a plead agreement that would free him in tens years from a pending life sentence.

By H. Nelson Goodson
April 10, 2014

Chicago, Illinois - On Thursday, the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Northern District of Illinois announced that Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, 29, aka, "El Vicentillo" had pled guilty on April 3, 2013 and since has been cooperating with federal authorities. Zambada-Niebla is facing life in prison, but hasn't been sentenced or a scheduled date has not been set for sentencing. The feds wouldn't confirm or deny, if Zambada-Niebla will be put on a witness protection program after completing his sentence, since his cooperation with authorities has placed his life in danger.
Zambada-Niebla's cooperation provided intelligence that led to Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzman Loera's capture in February in Mazatlán, Mexico. Guzman Loera was one of the most wanted druglords from the Sinaloa Drug Cartel. Zambada-Niebla's father, Ismael Zambada-Garcia, also known as "Mayo" was Guzman Loera's partner and has taken over command of the Sinaloa Cartel along with Rafael Caro Quintero.
Quintero, 58, a reputed druglord. Quintero, a former founder of the Guadalajara Cartel who Guzman Loera had worked for, just walked out a free man from prison last August after a federal court overturned his 40 year prison sentence and conviction for the 1985 murder of DEA Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena in Guadalajara, Jalisco. After serving 28 years in prison, the appellate court found that Quintero should have been prosecuted in a state court and not a federal court. The court's decision and Quintero's released was kept secret until Quintero had been released indicating the three judge panel was bought off. Quintero has disappeared and is believed to be heading the Sinaloa Cartel along with Zambada-Garcia.
In August, Zambada-Niebla implicated the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a deal between the federal agencies and the Sinaloa Cartel. Zambada-Niebla in an affidavit filed in federal court alleged, the the U.S. federal agencies allowed the shipment of large quantities of cocaine from the Sinaloa Cartel into Chicago and other parts of the U.S. in exchange for information leading to arrests of rival members of drug cartels.
Zambada-Niebla testified, that he had provided information about rival cartels to the feds in exchange for protection and allowing drug shipments to reach their destinations. Zambada-Niebla also confirmed, that he was present when U.S. federal agents met with key leaders from the Sinaloa Cartel and witnessed compact agreements. The agreements included intelligence information would be provided to the Sinaloa Cartel by the U.S. feds concerning investigations and raids.  Any raid planned by other law enforcement agencies and the Mexican government against the Sinaloa Cartel was passed on to the Sinaloa Cartel, inorder to allow them time to elude capture. The agreements were done without the Mexican authorities knowing anything about it, eventhough the U.S. feds knew most of the Sinaloa Cartel operators and leaders were wanted in the U.S. and Mexico, according to Zambada-Niebla.
Under the plead agreement, Zambada-Niebla would only serve 10 years from a pending life sentence. If the defendant continues to cooperate, Zambada-Niebla could even do less time.
He agreed to forfeit more than $1.37 billion in assets. "Zambada-Niebla pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute multiple kilograms of cocaine and heroin between 2005 and 2008. More specifically, the plea agreement describes the distribution of multiple tons of cocaine, often involving hundreds of kilograms at a time on a monthly, if not weekly, basis between 2005 and 2008. The guilty plea means that there will be no trial for Zambada-Niebla, whose case was severed from that of his co-defendants. Among his co-defendants are his father, Ismael Zambada-Garcia, also known as "Mayo," and Joaquin Guzman-Loera, also known as "Chapo," both alleged leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel. Zambada-Garcia is a fugitive believed to be in Mexico, and Guzman-Loera is in Mexican custody after being arrested this past February," according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon from the Northern District of Illinois. 
Zambada-Niebla admitted that between May 2005 and December 2008, he was a highlevel member of the Sinaloa Cartel and was responsible for many aspects of its drug trafficking operations, "both independently and as a trusted lieutenant for his father," for whom he acted as a surrogate and logistical coordinator, the plea agreement states. Zambada-Niebla admitted he was aware that his father was among the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel since the 1970s and their principal livelihood was derived from their sale of narcotics in the United States.
Zambada-Niebla admitted that he participated in coordinating the importation of multiton quantities of cocaine from Central and South American countries, including Colombia and Panama, into the interior of Mexico, and facilitated the transportation and storage of these shipments within Mexico. The cartel used various means of transportation, including private aircraft, submarines and other submersible and semi-submersible vessels, container ships, go-fast boats, fishing vessels, buses, rail cars, tractor-trailers, and automobiles.
Zambada-Niebla "subsequently assisted in coordinating the delivery of cocaine to wholesale distributors in Mexico, knowing that these distributors would in turn smuggle multiton quantities of cocaine, generally in shipments of hundreds of kilograms at a time, as well as on at least one occasion, multi-kilogram quantities of heroin, from Mexico across the United States border, and then into and throughout the United States, including Chicago," according to the plea agreement.
On most occasions, the Sinaloa Cartel supplied this cocaine and heroin to wholesalers on consignment, including to cooperating co-defendants Pedro and Margarito Flores, whom Zambada-Niebla knew distributed multi-ton quantities of cocaine and multi-kilogram quantities of heroin in Chicago, and in turn sent payment to Zambada-Niebla and other cartel leaders. Zambada-Niebla also admitted being aware of, and directly participating in, transporting large quantities of narcotics cash proceeds from the U.S. to Mexico.
Zambada-Niebla also admitted that he and his father, as well as other members of the Sinaloa Cartel, "were protected by the ubiquitous presence of weapons," and that he had "constant bodyguards who possessed numerous military-caliber weapons." Zambada-Niebla also admitted that he was aware that the cartel used violence and made credible threats of violence to rival cartels and to law enforcement in Mexico to facilitate its business.

No comments: