Woman linked to cartel kingpin 'El Chapo' arrested at San Diego border, charged in drug conspiracy

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Woman linked to cartel kingpin 'El Chapo' arrested at San Diego border, charged in drug conspiracy

Maddy
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http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/courts/sd-me-chapo-arrest-20170622-story.html     

     A former Mexican legislator who has been linked to notorious cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán was charged Thursday in San Diego federal court with conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

     The U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego said Lucero Guadalupe Sánchez López was detained about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Otay Mesa Cross Border Xpress, a bridge that connects Tijuana’s A.L. Rodríguez International Airport with San Diego.

     The complaint says wiretaps from 2013 and 2014 show Sánchez communicating with cartel operatives about laundering drug money and coordinating delivery of drug money proceeds.

     It also said she admitted being Guzmán’s girlfriend — and even was with him when he famously escaped arrest in 2014 by accessing a tunnel in his home in Sinaloa concealed under a bathtub and then fleeing through the city’s sewer tunnels.

     Sánchez is a former legislator in the state of Sinaloa, home base for Guzmán and his powerful drug trafficking organization.

     And while court documents said she was under investigation for her role in the cartel for several years, her lawyer said in an interview Thursday that she was apparently coming to the U.S. to seek asylum after receiving death threats in Mexico.

     Sánchez left her two sons behind with family members on Wednesday when she flew to Tijuana with intentions to cross to the United States and investigate the possibility of obtaining protection for all three from the U.S. government, lawyer Francisco Verdugo said.

     “Neither she nor we had any idea that she was under investigation,” in the U.S., Verdugo said. “If she had, she wouldn’t have gone there.”

     Sánchez has denied reports she was Guzmán’s girlfriend. However, in a probable cause affidavit supporting her arrest and attached to the federal criminal complaint, a cartel member who was secretly cooperating with U.S. investigators said he met in Mexico with a woman using the name “Tere.”

     She told the informant she also is known as “Maico” — another alias that the complaint says Sánchez used.

     Sánchez told the informant that she was Guzmán’s girlfriend, and told the informant of the tunnel escape from the grasp of Mexican officials on Feb. 16, 2014, from the cartel leader’s home in Culiacán, Sinaloa.

     Sánchez has denied reports she was Guzmán’s girlfriend. However, in a probable cause affidavit supporting her arrest and attached to the federal criminal complaint, a cartel member who was secretly cooperating with U.S. investigators said he met in Mexico with a woman using the name “Tere.”

     She told the informant she also is known as “Maico” — another alias that the complaint says Sánchez used.

     Sánchez told the informant that she was Guzmán’s girlfriend, and told the informant of the tunnel escape from the grasp of Mexican officials on Feb. 16, 2014, from the cartel leader’s home in Culiacán, Sinaloa.

     Then, in September 2014, Mexican federal prosecutors said she used false identification documents to enter the Altiplano penitentiary to visit Guzmán. He was there after having been arrested about a week after his escape through the hidden tunnel in his home.

     In July 2015, Guzmán escaped from the prison using an elaborately constructed tunnel that led from his cell. He was recaptured in January 2016 in Los Mochis, Sinaloa. Mexican officials said days before his arrest he had spent New Year’s with Sánchez.

     After Guzmán’s recapture in January 2016, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office investigated Sánchez for using the false documents to visit Guzmán in prison in 2014.

     Verdugo, Sánchez’s Mexican attorney, said his client was in the final stages of her federal trial on the false document usage outside Mexico City at the time of her arrest.

     This is not the first time someone close to Guzmán has been arrested in San Diego. In September 2012, his daughter, who was seven months pregnant at the time, was arrested for using a bogus visa to try to gain entry to the U.S.

     She pleaded guilty just before Christmas and was immediately returned to Mexico.

     Guzmán was extradited to the U.S. in January and is awaiting trial in New York City under a sweeping indictment charging him with leading a continuing criminal enterprise.
" Es más chíngon el chapó que el gobierno mexicano"
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Re: Woman linked to cartel kingpin 'El Chapo' arrested at San Diego border, charged in drug conspiracy

canadiana
Administrator
Now she probably will get U.S. protection under the 'snitch' category.Sounds like another 1 to testify against Chapo.Certainly no shortage of witnesses the U.S. will see to that.They know more than what these criminals think they do.Just because a guy hasn't been popped doesn't mean authorities don't know about them.They just lie in wait for them to cross the border then ponce.
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