US: Sinaloa Drug Lord Is Cooperating With Authorities

Published: 11 April 2014


Ismael Zambada Garcia


The US Attorney in Chicago said Thursday that Jesus Vicente “El Vicentillo” Zambada Niebla, a top member of the Sinaloa cartel, has been cooperating with authorities since he pled guilty to drug trafficking last year.

 Zambada, 39, was arrested in March 2009 in Mexico City. He was extradited to the United States a year later and held at the federal Milan Correctional Institution in Michigan. 

Zambada is the son of Ismael Zambada Garcia, believed to be one of the founders and leaders of the Mexican cartel. 

According to the plea agreement, he admitted possessing and trafficking “tons of heroin and cocaine from South and Central America to distributors who would smuggle the drugs into the US” between 2005 and 2008. 

Zambada was sentenced to 10 years to life, plus a fine of US$ 4 million. That sentence could be reduced if he continues to cooperate, authorities say. 

According to the Mexican news organization Univision, the agreement also says that he was responsible for many Sinaloa drug trafficking operations “both independently and as a confidant of his father,” for whom he acted as substitute and logistics coordinator. 

The New York Times reports that the US Treasury Department also revealed on Thursday that it is imposing sanctions on Mexican real estate companies that laundered money for members of the same cartel.