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Alleged Mexican drug cartel members arrested in Spain to face NH charges
CONCORD – Three members of the Sinaloa drug cartel were arrested in Spain after they were indicted by a federal New Hampshire grand jury for conspiracy to distribute 1,000 or more kilograms of cocaine.
“This doesn't dismantle the Sinaloa cartel but it does disrupt and foil what the cartel tried to do. They constantly search for new routes,” said New Hampshire U.S. Attorney John Kacavas said at a press conference. “You've heard of death by a 1,000 cuts. This is one of those cuts.”
Undercover agents from federal, state and local agencies working in Boston, New Hampshire, other areas around the country and in Europe sought a partnership with high-level members of the cartel including Mauel Jesus Guttierez Guzman, the first cousin of the cartel's reputed leader Joaquin Guzman-Loera, according to Kacavas. Guzman-Loera also was indicted for conspiracy to distribute cocaine but remains a fugitive from justice, he said.
The group sought new transport routes to Spain and eventually into Canada and the United States including the Northeast, Kacavas said. The three members were arrested in Algeciras, Spain on Aug. 7 along with a fourth member of the cartel who was sent to Spain to monitor the safety of the cocaine shipment.
They were arrested after 750 pounds of cocaine were delivered to Spain by ship.
The Department of Justice seeks to extradite the four members to face trial in U.S. District Court in Concord.
The Sinaloa Cartel is considered by federal law enforcement agencies to be one of the two most powerful drug cartels operating from Mexico.
The three-year investigation included several federal agencies as well as the Boston Police Department with the assistance of the Spanish National Police.
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