Sinaloa, led by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, supplies 80% of the drugs entering the Chicago area and has a presence in cities across the U.S.
Related (and hypocritical): "Chicago's new Public Enemy No. 1: 'El Chapo'" (CNN) -- "The U.S. Treasury Department has declared [Guzman] the most influential trafficker in the world, and Mexican authorities have been on his tail since his 2001 escape from a Mexican prison. ..."
There have long been allegations that Guzman, considered to be "the world’s most powerful drug trafficker," coordinates with American authorities.
But the El Universal investigation is the first to publish court documents that include corroborating testimony from a DEA agent and a Justice Department official.
The written statements were made to the U.S. District Court in Chicago in relation to the arrest of Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, the son of Sinaloa leader Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada and allegedly the Sinaloa cartel’s "logistics coordinator."
Here's what DEA agent Manuel Castanon told the Chicago court:
A few hours later, Mexican Marines arrested Zambada-Niebla (a.k.a. "El Vicentillo") on charges of trafficking more than a billion dollars in cocaine and heroin. Castanon and three other agents then visited Zambada-Niebla in prison, where the Sinaloa officer "reiterated his desire to cooperate," according to Castanon.
El Universal, citing court documents, reports that DEA agents met with high-level Sinaloa officials such as Castro more than 50 times since 2000.
Then-Justice Department prosecutor Patrick Hearn told the Chicago court that, according to DEA special agent Steve Fraga, Castro