Alleged CJNG Cartel Enforcers Charged with Drug Trafficking
SAN DIEGO – A superseding indictment and arrest warrants were unsealed in federal court against alleged Mexican drug cartel enforcement leaders in connection with their alleged violent support of heroin and methamphetamine trafficking.
The superseding indictment, returned on March 6, 2020, plus a related indictment returned on March 16, 2021, collectively charge Edgar Herrera Pardo, aka Caiman; Carlos Lorenzo Hinojosa Guerrero, aka Cabo 96; Edgar Perez Villa, aka Cabo 89; and Israel Alejandro Vazquez-Vazquez, aka Cabo 50, among others, with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Intended for Importation and Conspiracy to Import Controlled Substances.
According to court filings filed by the government, Herrera Pardo, Hinojosa Guerrero, Perez Villa and Vazquez-Vazquez were leaders of a violent group of cartel enforcers, known as Los Cabos, who operated in Baja California to secure control of the region for Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación, commonly known as CJNG. Los Cabos allegedly employed rampant violence to ensure that CJNG maintained the ability to traffic drugs through Tijuana, Mexico, and into the United States through San Diego. In an approximate 6.5-month period of judicially-authorized interceptions of a group chat operated by leaders of Los Cabos, these individuals planned over 150 murders, the majority of which took place in Tijuana, according to the filings. Los Cabos’s bloody reign of terror included the murder of two teenaged United States citizens in Tijuana in November 2018, the government alleges. These teenagers were residents of Chula Vista, Calif. The government also alleges that Los Cabos targeted law enforcement in Tijuana, killing at least three police officers.
Los Cabos allegedly engaged in this violence in support of CJNG, one of the most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world. The cartel is responsible for moving tons of cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl-laced heroin into the United States. CJNG is also a prolific methamphetamine producer and chemical importer, using precursors procured from China and India. CJNG is one of the most powerful cartels operating within the United States.
“Drug cartels like Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación, also known as CJNG, attempt to continue to flood our communities with heroin and methamphetamine,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery. “These cartels not only perpetrate violence and murders that effect our neighbors south of the border, but their drugs cause death and destruction in our own communities. The superseding indictments and arrest warrants against violent CJNG members are testament that DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to work vigorously to identify and arrest members of these drug cartels.”
At the same time, CJNG has contributed to a catastrophic trail of human and physical destruction in Mexico. It is the most well-armed cartel in Mexico. Its members willingly confront rival cartels and even the security forces of the Mexican government. CJNG is responsible for grisly acts of violence and loss of life.
“For too long, powerful cartels have visited unspeakable violence on Tijuana, a city that is right next door to San Diego,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Randy S. Grossman.“We will continue our campaign to end the cartels’ reign of terror and stop the flow of drugs across the border by prosecuting the highest-ranking leaders and enforcers.”
United States Attorney’s Office; Homeland Security Investigations; Department of Justice, Office of Enforcement Operations; Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs; San Diego Sheriff’s Department