A Dozen New Indictments against Mexican Cartels
August 20, 2009 - 1:59 PMFederal prosecutors unveiled a dozen new indictments Thursday charging accused Mexican drug cartels members pumped vast quantities of drugs into major U.S. cities.
Ten accused cartel leaders and dozens of others are charged in indictments unsealed in Chicago and New York. Many of the suspects charged are already being hunted by U.S. and Mexican authorities. The new court documents depict a sprawling distribution network stretching back nearly two decades, based on investigations by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Internal Revenue Service.
Investigators and Attorney General Eric Holder jointly announced the charges at the Justice Department in Washington.
Three suspects - Joaquin "el Chapo" Guzman-Loera, Ismael "el Mayo" Zambada-Garcia and Arburo Beltran-Leyva - are accused of being the past and present heads of the organized crime syndicate called the Sinaloa cartel, or the Federation.
The three allegedly oversaw the shipment of nearly 200 metric tons of cocaine and large amounts of heroin into the United States.
Eight suspects were arrested in Chicago and Atlanta earlier this week. Earlier this year, another 10 suspects, all accused customers or couriers of the ring, were charged in Chicago.
Authorities charge the cartels moved cocaine and heroin to Cincinnati and Colombus, Ohio, Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Vancouver, British Columbia, and beyond. The indictments grew out of a street gang investigation in Chicago and drug-related killings in New York.
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