LOS ANGELES – The Mexican leader of a transnational drug trafficking organization arrived here this afternoon after being extradited from Mexico to face federal charges he conspired to transport cocaine worth hundreds of dollars million dollars from South America to the United States.
Angel Humberto Chavez-Gastelum, 47, who was initially arrested by Mexican authorities in November 2018 in QuerÃ©taro, Mexico, is to be brought to justice Tuesday afternoon on charges contained in an indictment of 22 counts of accusation which accuses him of being the main director of drug trafficking. business.
Chavez-Gastelum – who has been named by the United States government as one of the world’s most wanted drug traffickers – is said to have controlled a drug distribution network with supply routes that transported cocaine from Colombia to Central America, then Mexico, with a final destination in the United States. During the investigation of the organization, law enforcement authorities around the world seized approximately 7,700 pounds of cocaine, potentially worth $ 500 million in the United States.
The indictment charges Chavez-Gastelum with 12 offenses, including drug trafficking, importation of drugs and money laundering. He is also charged with being the chief executive of a continuing criminal enterprise, an offense punishable by mandatory life imprisonment in federal prison.
Chavez-Gastelum is also charged with two murders on July 7, 2017, committed in connection with the alleged continuing criminal enterprise and drug-related offenses.
The investigation into this case led to the arrest of co-conspirators on three continents. The organization’s alleged Colombian leader, Victor Hugo Cuellar-Silva, was captured and extradited to the United States in September 2018.
Chavez-Gastelum is the main defendant in the indictment which charges a total of 47 defendants. With the expected appearance of Chavez-Gastelum in court, a total of 22 defendants will have been brought to justice in this case. A trial in this case was previously scheduled for March 15, 2022.
An indictment contains allegations that an accused has committed a crime. Anyone accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court.
This indictment is the result of a coordinated effort by several law enforcement agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, and IRS Criminal Investigation.
This effort is part of an Operation Drugs Against Organized Crime Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a multi-agency, prosecutor-led, intelligence-led approach. Additional information on the OCDETF program is available at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF. The International Affairs Office of the Ministry of Justice of the Ministry’s Criminal Division provided substantial assistance in this case.
US Deputy Prosecutors Brittney M. Harris, J. Mark Childs, Matthew J. Rosenbaum and Jehan M. Pernas of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering and Racketeering Section are continuing this case.