The US Department of Justice identified the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG), led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias ‘Mencho’, as the “best-armed cartel in Mexico.”
The statement was made after US authorities reported the charges and arrest warrants issued by a US Federal Court against Edgar Herrera Pardo, also known as ‘El Caimán’; Carlos Lorenzo Hinojosa Guerrero, alias ‘Cabo 96’; Edgar Pérez Villa, alias ‘Cabo 89’, and Israel Alejandro Vázquez-Vázquez, alias ‘Cabo 50’, alleged members of a criminal cell of the CJNG that operates in Baja California.
In a statement released by the Southern District of California, the prosecutor’s office noted that the CJNG is “one of the most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world”, that it has its hands in the trafficking of multiple deadly substances and that “it has contributed to a catastrophic trail of human and physical destruction in Mexico ”.
According to the Department of Justice, the CJNG is responsible for smuggling tons of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin with fentanyl into the United States, in addition to being a prolific producer of methamphetamine and importer of chemical products, which it uses as precursors, which – they add – is acquired in China and India.
“CJNG is one of the most powerful Mexican cartels operating within the United States,” the statement read.
According to the indictment filed by the Justice Department against four high-profile members of the CJNG, belonging to a criminal cell identified as ‘Los Cabos’, they had their base of operations in Baja California.
This criminal cell – they accuse – was led by Edgar Herrera Pardo, known as El Caimán, and operated mainly in Tijuana and Tecate.
‘Los Cabos’ used “unbridled violence to ensure that the CJNG maintained the ability to traffic drugs through Tijuana, Mexico, and to the United States through San Diego,” the statement said.
“In fact, in a period of approximately 6.5 months of judicially authorized interceptions of a group chat operated by Los Cabos leaders, these individuals planned more than 150 murders, most of which occurred in Tijuana, according to the documents,” reported the Justice Department.
“The bloody reign of terror in ‘Los Cabos’ included the murder of two teenage American citizens in Tijuana in November 2018,” they add.
Both teens were residents of Chula Vista. The US government also alleged that Los Cabos murdered at least three Tijuana police officers.
“For too long, powerful cartels have inflicted unspeakable violence in Tijuana, a city right next to San Diego (…) We will continue our campaign to end the reign of terror of the cartels and stop the flow of drugs through the border prosecuting the highest-ranking leaders and (corrupt) law enforcement officers,” said Acting Federal Prosecutor Randy Grossman, following the revelation of the indictments and respective arrest warrants against these four CJNG leaders.
Prosecutor Grossman also thanked the Attorney General’s Office (FGR), which, according to the interim prosecutor, provided significant assistance in the investigation against the CJNG.
The four leaders of ‘Los Cabos’ face charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances for the purpose of illicit importation into the United States, mainly heroin and methamphetamine, for which they could spend between a minimum of 10 years and a maximum lifetime, in addition to being forced to pay a fine of $10 million dollars each.
The ‘Caimán’ was detained by FGR agents in San Luis Potosí in August 2019, while the ‘Cabo 89’ was arrested walking in the streets of Tijuana in October 2020. So far the whereabouts of the ‘Cabo 50 ‘and the’ Cabo 96 ‘ are unknown.
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