Two Mexican Cartel Members Found Guilty of Violating RICO Statute
EL PASO – A federal jury convicted two Sinaloa Cartel members on Friday for their roles in the Sinaloa Cartel’s narcotics distribution operations.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Arturo Shows Urquidi, aka “Chous,” 50, of Juarez, Mexico and Mario Iglesias-Villegas, aka “Dos,” “El 2,” “Delta,” “Parka,” “Grim Reaper,” 36, of Villa Ahumada, Mexico, were found guilty of one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization statute (RICO) for their roles as members of the Sinaloa Cartel; one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine and marijuana; one count of conspiracy to import cocaine and marijuana; one count of conspiracy to launder money; and one count of conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes.
Iglesias was also found guilty of five counts of violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity; one count of conspiracy to kill in a foreign country; and one count of kidnapping.
Shows was a former Chihuahua State police officer and a long-time member of the Sinaloa Cartel under Ismael “Mayo” Zambada-Garcia. Shows assisted in the security of stash houses where thousands of kilograms of cocaine were unloaded from tanker trucks and then reloaded with weapons and money being returned to Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico. While he was involved with the Sinaloa Cartel, the Cartel successfully imported thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the United States worth over $1 billion dollars.
Iglesias became a member of the Sinaloa Cartel under Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman-Loera in early 2008. Iglesias was the head of a group of Sinaloa Cartel sicarios (assassins) until his arrest in 2012. He was a significant participant in the death of thousands of people in Ciudad Juarez from 2008 to 2011. Among those, Iglesias was convicted for his participation in the kidnapping and eventual murder of Horizon City resident, Sergio Saucedo, and participation in the kidnapping and murders of Rafael Morales-Valencia, Jaime Morales-Valencia, and Guadalupe Morales-Arreola, who were kidnapped outside a church in Ciudad Juarez shortly after the wedding of Rafael Morales-Valencia. Iglesias’ acts of violence allowed the Sinaloa Cartel to control the Juarez drug corridor and successfully import cocaine and marijuana into the United States.
The Sinaloa Cartel’s criminal activity in the Ciudad Juarez and El Paso area included the violence that occurred during the war between the Juarez Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel, which led to the death of thousands of people in Ciudad Juarez and throughout the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Durango. The violence gave rise to Ciudad Juarez being named the “deadliest city in the world.”
This investigation resulted in the seizure of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine, thousands of pounds of marijuana in cities throughout the United States. Law enforcement also took possession of millions of dollars in drug proceeds which were destined to be returned to the Cartel in Mexico. Agents and officers likewise seized hundreds of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition intended to be smuggled into Mexico to assist the Cartel’s battle to take control of Juarez and the local drug trafficking corridors.
Sentencing for Shows is set for February 10, 2022 and sentencing for Iglesias is set for February 11, 2022.
U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff of the Western District of Texas; Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Special Agent in Charge Greg Millard; FBI Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey R. Downey; and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek, II, Dallas Division, made the announcement.
The DEA, FBI, and ATF together with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement–Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), United States Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), United States Marshals Service, El Paso Police Department, El Paso Sheriff’s Office, and the Texas Department of Public Safety investigated this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Antonio Franco, Kristal Wade, Kyle Myers, and Michael Williams are prosecuting the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.