Working together with a number of agencies, including Customs and Border Protection, the FBI, Interpol and local police departments, the IRS Criminal Investigation unit has helped bring to justice dozens of members of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Sixty alleged members and associates of the Mexico-based Sinaloa Cartel, including the highest-ranking leaders, lieutenants and operators of multiple distribution cells, were charged in 14 indictments with trafficking huge quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and marijuana to points around the United States.
Cartel members were targeted for three years in a massive probe involving multiple countries and scores of law enforcement agencies.
The primary indictment targets the alleged leader of the cartel, Ismael Zamgbada-Garcia, known as “El Mayo,” as well as two of his four sons—Ismael Zambada-Sicairos, known as “Mayito Flaco,” and Ismael Zambada-Imperial, known as “Mayito Gordo.” Zambada-Imperial was arrested by Mexican authorities in November 2014.
Among the distributors for the Cartel were members of the Deep Valley Bloods and the Deep Valley Crips street gangs.
“San Diego is at the forefront of narco-dollar money laundering, with couriers using bulk cash smuggling, structured bank deposits, and high-end luxury vehicles and airplanes to move their illicit drug proceeds,” said IRS Criminal Investigation’s special agent in charge Erick Martinez. “Seizing the dirty cash and assets of these illegal organizations will hit the criminals where it hurts them the most—it will deprive them of their profits.”
According to the indictment, the government is seeking criminal forfeiture of a number of possessions, including a 1982 Cessna Turbo 210 aircraft, a Lamborghini Murceilago luxury vehicle, and other vehicles and property.
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