By Gangsters Inc. Editors
A former high-ranking member of the Los Zetas cartel entered a guilty plea last week to a conspiracy to import tons of cocaine into the United States. 43-year-old Jose Maria Guizar-Valencia, of Tulare, California, is considered one of the last numbered Los Zetas and was a regional leader in charge of the Guatemala/Central America region.
“Today the cartels were put on notice,” said Hamdani. “After a long and hard-fought battle, we brought another ruthless cartel leader to justice. Jose Maria Guizar-Valencia may have thought he was untouchable, but now he feels the reach, power and persistence of the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). He once led the drug activity in a large swath of Central America. Those days are over.”
Investigation into Los Zetas
In 2012, law enforcement began an investigation into the illegal drug trafficking activities of the Los Zetas. At the time, they were a Mexican-based drug cartel in control of much of the Mexico/U.S. border to include the Texas corridor.
The investigation revealed Los Zetas had expanded their control of the drug trade to Central and South America. This enabled them to control the importation of drugs from countries including Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia into the Republic of Mexico and then into the United States.
The investigation revealed that from 2007 to 2014, Guizar-Valencia was responsible for controlling a large portion of Guatemala and for coordinating the transportation of multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Colombia to Guatemala, Guatemala to Mexico and then from Mexico into the United States for further distribution. Guizar-Valencia also managed the receipt of millions of dollars in U.S. currency the cartel obtained from the sale of cocaine in the United States.
On the run
Guizar Valencia had been under indictment and was on the run for many years. He evaded apprehension until February 9, 2018, when Mexican authorities and its military arrested him in Mexico City, Mexico. He later waived extradition.
He will be sentenced at a later date, at which time he will be facing a possible punishment of up to life in prison and a $10 million maximum fine. Until that time, he will remain in custody.
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