Drug Enforcement Administration

San Diego

Karen I. Flowers, Special Agent in Charge

May 20, 2015

Contact: Kameron Korte

Phone Number: (571) 324-6204

DEA: Plea Of Chino Antrax Cripples Violent Arm Of Sinaloa Cartel

SAN DIEGO - Jose Rodrigo Arechiga-Gamboa, also known as “Chino Antrax,” pleaded guilty in federal court today.  Chino Antrax admitted that as a high-level member of the Mexico-based Sinaloa Cartel he and his co-conspirators coordinated the transportation of tons of cocaine and marijuana into the United States and ordered or participated in cartel-related violence.

In his plea agreement, Arechiga-Gamboa admitted that the Sinaloa Cartel uses violence and threats to intimidate rival cartels, and that he himself was “a direct participant in, and communicated to other members of the Sinaloa Cartel, orders to commit acts of violence or threats of violence.”  The Sinaloa Cartel operates across multiple continents and countries, importing large quantities of narcotics into Mexico from Asia and Central and South American countries including Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala.

The Sinaloa Cartel moves drugs by land, air, and sea, including cargo aircraft, private aircraft, submarines and other submersible and semi-submersible vessels, container ships, supply vessels, go-fast boats, fishing vessels, buses, rail cars, tractor trailers, trucks, automobiles, and private and commercial interstate and foreign carriers.  Those narcotics are then smuggled across the international border to San Diego via automobiles, tractor trailers, trucks, fishing vessels and tunnels and stored at various stash houses, safe houses and warehouses in San Diego County. The narcotics are transported and distributed from there to locations throughout the United States.

“This plea today marks the end of a reign of terror that this particular violent enforcement arm of the Sinaloa Cartel has inflicted on innocent people both in Mexico and the United States,” says DEA San Diego Special Agent in Charge William R. Sherman.  “Jose Rodrigo Arechiga-Gamboa, aka: Chino Antrax was the head of this violent group under the powerful Sinaloa Cartel.  Once again, DEA commits to hunting down the remaining members of this weakening cartel and making sure the public is safe from any more drug related violence.”

Arechiga-Gamboa’s arrest and guilty plea come in spite of significant efforts by him to elude capture. 
Arechiga-Gamboa was arrested on December 30, 2013, at the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands at the request of the United States.  Arechiga-Gamboa was taken into custody at the airport traveling under a fraudulent name, “Norberto Sicairos-Garcia,” as he deplaned a KLM flight from Mexico City, Mexico to Amsterdam.  The United States made formal requests for assistance from foreign authorities via a provisional arrest warrant and an Interpol Red Notice.

A Dutch Court considered the extradition request and, on May 28, 2014, ordered that Arechiga-Gamboa be extradited to the United States to stand trial on the narcotics trafficking offenses.  Arechiga-Gamboa was extradited to the United States on July 11, 2014 and arrived at San Diego International airport under heavy security.

The investigation and prosecution of Arechiga-Gamboa was conducted by agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration in San Diego, along with federal law enforcement from numerous other agencies. It was also conducted in close coordination with DEA agents in Chicago and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, along with Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations, Customs and Border Protection Office of Border Patrol, Internal Revenue Service, Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Asset Control, Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs, and Interpol.
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