Crime /

El Chapo Sons Among 28 Sinaloa Cartel Members Charged By DOJ

Federal officials say they are waging a relentless campaign to disrupt fentanyl trafficking

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has unsealed charges against 28 members of the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel for fentanyl trafficking, weapons, and money laundering.

Among those arrested were three sons of infamous drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, according to the DOJ.

“Today, the Justice Department is announcing significant enforcement actions against the largest, most violent, and most prolific fentanyl trafficking operation in the world – run by the Sinaloa Cartel, and fueled by Chinese precursor chemical and pharmaceutical companies,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “Families and communities across our country are being devastated by the fentanyl epidemic. Today’s actions demonstrate the comprehensive approach the Justice Department is taking to disrupt fentanyl trafficking and save American lives.”

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) administrator Anne Milgram said in the statement, “Today’s indictments send a clear message to the Chapitos, the Sinaloa Cartel, and criminal drug networks around the world that the DEA will stop at nothing to protect the national security of the United States and the safety and health of the American people.”

According to Milgram, the Chapitos pioneered the manufacture and trafficking of fentanyl that has flooded into American cities over the past eight years. They also allegedly used “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, automobiles, and private and commercial interstate and foreign carriers” to transport drugs.

Federal officials said that the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most powerful cartels in the world, is largely responsible for the current manufacture and importation of fentanyl into the U.S.

Addressing the unsealing of the indictments, the DOJ says that the Sinaloa Cartel obtained precursor chemicals, largely from China, to manufacture the drugs in Mexico, moved the drugs into the U.S., then laundered the money made from trafficking.

More than 110,000 people die annually in the U.S. due to drug overdoses, according to the latest data from federal officials.

The average life expectancy for Americans has declined almost two years, largely because of synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

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