CHICAGO (WLS) -- New charges were announced Tuesday in the Sinaloa cartel drug case, a federal investigation that has already taken down 62 people and removed tons of cocaine and heroin from the streets. The announcement came just as two major players in the cartel were sentenced.
The Flores brothers, known as the snitches of Sinaloa, were sentenced to 14 years in prison Tuesday. The lighter sentences were due to their decision to leave the cartel and help Chicago prosecutors. The cartel has used jet aircraft, trains, trucks and submarines to move their drugs around the world. But it takes people, not just a fancy fleet, to move drugs and now several new names are being to the growing list of Sinaloa operatives.
Venancio "Benny" Covarrubias, 26, from northwest suburban Elgin, is under arrest and charged with using a shipment of fresh tomatoes from a fake Mexican produce company to hide 118 bricks of cocaine destined for Elgin.
"Cartels continue to thrive on financial gain, and IRS CI will continue to bring the financial expertise to disrupt and dismantle the Sinaloa cartel and others like it," said Michael Batdorf of the IRS.
Jesus Alfredo Guzman "Jags" Salazar, 31, a son of notorious Sinaloa drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is also facing new charges in Chicago.
Federal officers pinned much of their success tackling the cartel on the Flores brothers.
Pedro and Margarito Flores started as street dealers and worked their way up to oversee multi-state drug sales for the billion dollar cartel.
Six years ago they decided to make a quick exit from that business, by going undercover for the government.
In federal court Tuesday, Chief Judge Ruben Castillo called the twins the biggest drug dealers who ever appeared in his courtroom. Security in and around the courthouse was unprecedented.
Even the Flores' attorneys went unnamed and asked media organizations not to identify them.
"I think it fortifies the point of how and why this cooperation was extraordinary and you know it would be understandable that there would be concerns for personal safety in light of that," said