Superseding Indictment Filed Against Sinaloa Cartel Leader “El Mayo” Highlights Contrasting Paths of Father and Son

A new superseding indictment has been filed against Ismael Zambada Garcia, also known as “El Mayo,” the current top leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, which controls a significant portion of the illicit drug trade in Chicago. This development brings to light the divergent paths taken by El Mayo and his son, Jesús Vicente Zambada Niebla, also known as “El Vicentillo.” While El Mayo continues to lead the cartel, El Vicentillo has turned against his former associates and is now in witness protection, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The fifth superseding indictment, filed this week, underscores the information provided by El Vicentillo to authorities over the years. After pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges in November 2018, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison the following year. El Vicentillo’s cooperation has been instrumental in shedding light on the inner workings of the Sinaloa Cartel.

El Mayo, who has been under indictment in Chicago for fifteen years, remains a career fugitive with a $15 million U.S. bounty on his head. Despite his advanced age of 76, he continues to operate as the overlord of the cartel, which federal authorities claim controls 80 percent of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl sales in Chicago. El Mayo now faces a new indictment out of New York, further complicating his legal situation.

The capture of El Mayo is considered a long shot due to his alleged protection and likely hidden status. Jack Riley, a former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration outpost in Chicago, expressed skepticism about the possibility of apprehending El Mayo, citing the declining state of U.S.-Mexico relations and the cartel leader’s ability to stay one step ahead. Riley believes that El Mayo’s health is deteriorating, but his insulation and routine make it challenging to bring him to justice.

In contrast, El Vicentillo is believed to be in U.S. witness protection. On the day of his sentencing in 2019, the Chicago courthouse was heavily guarded. Recent reports suggest that he has been released from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago and may have been transferred to federal witness protection. Given the potential threats he faces, it is understandable that El Vicentillo would seek the safety provided by this program.

Riley emphasized that El Vicentillo’s cooperation has led to additional indictments, making him a target for numerous enemies. Despite his father’s influence, alliances within the cartel have broken down since the arrest of El Chapo, further complicating the situation. Riley advocates for designating the Sinaloa Cartel as a terrorist organization, not just a drug trafficking group, due to the significant loss of life caused by their activities. Such a designation would enable more aggressive tactics against cartel leaders, both in the United States and Mexico.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. It is evident that the Sinaloa Cartel’s control over the illicit drug trade in Chicago poses a significant problem. To address this issue, law enforcement agencies should consider adopting a multi-faceted approach that goes beyond traditional enforcement tactics.

    One potential solution is to focus on disrupting the financial infrastructure that supports the Sinaloa Cartel’s operations. By targeting the money laundering networks and seizing their assets, authorities can severely cripple the cartel’s ability to operate and expand their influence.

    Additionally, it

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