For Immediate Release
Alleged Sinaloa Cartel Member Extradited to the U.S. from Mexico for Funneling Massive Amounts of Marijuana and Cocaine into the U.S.
Alleged Sinaloa Cartel member Arturo Lozano-Mendez aka “Garza” is in federal custody following his extradition from Mexico to the United States yesterday afternoon. Lozano made his initial appearance in federal court in El Paso this afternoon.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney John F. Bash for the Western District of Texas; Special Agent in Charge Kyle W. Williamson of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), El Paso Division; Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie, Jr., of the FBI, El Paso Division; and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek, II, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Dallas Division.
Lozano, age 47, is one of two dozen alleged high-ranking Sinaloa Cartel leaders, including Joaquin Guzman Loera aka “El Chapo” and Ismael Zambada Garcia aka “Mayo”, indicted in April 2012 on federal racketeering charges in the Western District of Texas. According to the indictment, Lozano was in charge of Sinaloa Cartel warehouses in Juarez.
“The extradition of Arturo Lozano-Mendez shows that Mexico’s continued cooperation in targeting significant drug traffickers is critical to our mutual efforts to protect the public from the negative impact of the drug trade,” stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Williamson. “DEA will continue to vigorously pursue drug traffickers and corrupt public officials who threaten the safety of our local communities and U.S. national security and continue to bring alleged cartel leaders to justice - on both sides of the border.”
“The FBI will continue to aggressively pursue transnational criminal organizations that have posed a threat to the U.S. national security, to include the corrupt public servants who are either members or in positions of leadership in the Sinaloa Cartel, who use their position to further the illicit activity of that organization,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Buie. “The FBI is committed to upholding the rule of law and investigating those involved in criminal activity affecting our local communities.”
“The federal charges, arrests and extraditions associated with this investigation demonstrate our committed and ongoing partnership against transnational criminal organizations,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek, II.
Lozano is charged with one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity (RICO conspiracy), one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, one count of conspiracy to import into the United States five kilograms or more of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering offenses and one count of conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes.
Twenty (20) defendants, including Lozano, remain under indictment in this case. Trial is scheduled for November 2018. Upon conviction, Lozano faces up to life in federal prison.
This investigation resulted in the seizure of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine, thousands of pounds of marijuana in cities throughout the United States. Law enforcement also took possession of millions of dollars in drug proceeds which were destined to be returned to the Cartel in Mexico. Agents and officers likewise seized hundreds of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition intended to be smuggled into Mexico to assist the Cartel’s battle to take control of Juarez and the local drug trafficking corridors.
The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The U.S. Department of Justice thanks the Government of Mexico for its assistance in this case.
The DEA, FBI, and ATF, together with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Marshals Service, El Paso Police Department, El Paso Sheriff’s Office, and the Texas Department of Public Safety investigated this case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in the extradition. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys of the Western District of Texas.