Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Sinola Cartel Members Arrested in Drug Conspiracy

CONCORD—Three members of the Sinaloa Cartel were arrested on drug conspiracy charges after a three-year long investigation, announced United States Attorney John P. Kacavas.

Manuel Jesus Guttierez Guzman, Rafael Humberto Celaya Valenzuela, and Samuel Zazueta Valenzuela were arrested in the port city of Algeciras, Spain, on August 7, 2012, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Spanish National Police. The arrests resulted from a three-year long investigation into the drug smuggling activities of the Sinaloa Cartel as it attempted to establish a market for cocaine in Europe and in the United States. Law enforcement authorities also seized 346 kilograms of cocaine that were shipped by the cartel as part of the undercover operation. Authorities seized a quantity of heroin and methamphetamine in May 2012 in Detroit, Michigan, that was tendered by the cartel as partial payment for costs incurred in previously scheduled by aborted shipments of cocaine.

Also arrested in Spain was Jesus Soto, an individual who was sent to Spain by the cartel to monitor the safety of the shipment of cocaine.

Manuel Guzman is the first cousin of Joaquin Guzman-Loera, also known as “Chapo,” the reputed leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.

A New Hampshire grand jury returned an indictment charging Guttierez Guzman and the Valenzuelas and others with conspiracy to distribute 1000 or more kilograms of cocaine. The investigation involved meetings with members of the conspiracy in New Hampshire, Florida ,and the Virgin Islands at which the details of the drug distribution scheme were discussed.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire is working with the Office of International Affairs and the kingdom of Spain to obtain the extradition of those arrested. Each of the arrested individuals is a citizen of Mexico.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Boston Police Department with the assistance of the Spanish National Police.

The public is reminded that an indictment is a charge brought by the grand jury, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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