For Immediate Release
Assassin for Mexican Cartel Sentenced to Life in Prison
EL PASO – A Mexican national was sentenced today to life in prison and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine for his role in the Sinaloa Cartel’s operations.
According to court documents, Mario Iglesias-Villegas, aka “Dos,” “El 2,” “Delta,” “Parka,” “Grim Reaper,” 37, of Villa Ahumada, became a member of the Sinaloa Cartel under Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman-Loera in early 2008. Iglesias was the head of a group of Sinaloa Cartel sicarios (assassins) until his arrest in 2012. He was a significant participant in the death of thousands of people in Ciudad Juarez from 2008 to 2011. Among those, Iglesias was convicted for his participation in the kidnapping and eventual murder of Horizon City resident, Sergio Saucedo, and in the kidnapping and murders of Rafael Morales-Valencia, Jaime Morales-Valencia, and Guadalupe Morales-Arreola, who were kidnapped outside a church in Ciudad Juarez shortly after the wedding of Rafael Morales-Valencia. Iglesias’ acts of violence allowed the Sinaloa Cartel to control the Juarez drug corridor and successfully import cocaine and marijuana into the United States.
On October 22, 2021, a federal jury in El Paso convicted Iglesias of one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization statute (RICO) for his role as a member of the Sinaloa Cartel; one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine and marijuana; one count of conspiracy to import cocaine and marijuana; one count of conspiracy to launder money; one count of conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes; five counts of violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity; one count of conspiracy to kill in a foreign country; and one count of kidnapping.
“Today justice was finally served upon Mario Iglesias-Villegas,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “For decades, the Sinaloa Cartel has been responsible for unspeakable violence on both sides of the border and for the importation of massive amounts of illegal drugs into our communities in the United States. With the cooperation with our valued law enforcement partners, this Office will continue to be vigilant and aggressive in our prosecution efforts as we work together to dismantle dangerous criminal organizations.”
“With the sentencing of Mario Iglesias-Villegas, another significant member of the Sinaloa Cartel who was responsible for so much violence and misery in neighboring Ciudad Juarez more than a decade ago, has been brought to justice,” said Greg Millard, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Division. “DEA and its law enforcement partners will continue to pursue the arrest, extradition, conviction and sentencing of violent drug traffickers who harm our communities, no matter how long it takes.”
“The sentencing of Mario Iglesias-Villegas is one more step towards ending violence perpetrated by criminal drug trafficking organizations such as the Sinaloa Cartel,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey R. Downey, El Paso Field Office. “The FBI and our partners will endlessly pursue and prosecute cartel members and associates who attempt to control and intimidate their communities through violence. This sentencing is justice to all of those who have suffered as a result of Iglesias-Villegas' criminal actions as a member of the Sinaloa Cartel.”
“Unfortunately, illegal firearms and narco-traffickers go together like peanut butter and jelly. ATF and all of our partners are committed to breaking the long history of firearms-related violence that surrounds the dark world of the cartels and their impact on American Citizens,” said ATF Dallas Field Division Special Agent in Charge, Jeffrey C. Boshek II.
Iglesias’s co-defendant, Arturo Shows Urquidi, aka “Chous,” 51, of Juarez, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to violate the RICO statute for his role as a member of the Sinaloa Cartel; one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine and marijuana; one count of conspiracy to import cocaine and marijuana; one count of conspiracy to launder money; and one count of conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes. Shows was sentenced to life in prison on March 3, 2022.
The Sinaloa Cartel’s criminal activity in the Ciudad Juarez and El Paso area included the violence that occurred during the war between the Juarez Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel, which led to the death of thousands of people in Ciudad Juarez and throughout the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Durango. The violence gave rise to Ciudad Juarez being named the “deadliest city in the world.”
This investigation resulted in the seizure of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and thousands of pounds of marijuana in cities throughout the United States. Law Enforcement took possession of millions of dollars in drug proceeds that were destined to be returned to the Cartel in Mexico. Agents and officers also 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 DEA, FBI and ATF, together with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement–Homeland Security Investigations, United States Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection, United States Marshals Service, El Paso Police Department, El Paso Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety, investigated this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Antonio Franco, Kristal Wade, Kyle Myers and Michael Williams prosecuted the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.