Sinaloa Shrimp Company w 53 Contracts Ships Meth and Fent

Yaqui for Borderland Beat 

       The classic sight of a Camaronero Mexicano in La Golfo de California 
Sinaloa Seafood Company  that received public support, ie Contracts, traffics fentanyl to the US: DEA

SEMAR seizes 2.5 tons of methamphetamine and 100,000 fentanyl pills in Sinaloa:

The alleged association of fishermen linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, from which the Secretary of the Navy (Semar) seized 2.5 tons of methamphetamine and 100,000 fentanyl pills on January 29, was uncovered by an agent of the Administration for Control of Drugs (DEA, for its acronym in English) attached to Mexico. The alleged case of corruption revealed that the company “Pescadores Libres del Nico” was included in the list of beneficiaries (2020) of the Secretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Sinaloa.

According to a publication made by La Silla Rota in which it indicates that it reviewed documents, it reveals that, only in 2020, the government of Quirino Ordaz Coppel, through the Secretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture Sinaloa, granted to “Free Fishermen del Nico ”, 53 contracts through the “ State Program for Temporary Fishing Employment ”.

In the indictment filed by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on February 5, 2020 in the Southern District Court of New York, an undercover DEA agent conducted an investigation that allowed the seized that announced the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) a week later.

The temporary employment program of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture will be audited after it became known that a beneficiary company of this was trafficking drugs, reported Governor Quirino Ordaz Coppel.

“There will be a review of the Temporary Employment program, an audit. I think it is important so that it is well determined, but it has really been a support program for fishermen and it has always been done in a way that comes to be a relief, a support to their pocket ”, announced the state president.

Gov. Ordaz Copper assured that he was unaware of this situation until he saw it through out the media.

“You have to do a review first of all, an audit of the program, it will be done; We will request it from the Secretariat of Transparency to determine well and know in greater depth what information has emerged and in any case that it is seen before the corresponding authorities, ”commented the Governor.

On January 29, the Secretary of the Navy seized 2.5 tons of methamphetamine and 100, 000 fentanyl pills due to a follow-up initiated by the DEA. Those responsible for drug trafficking are members of the company Pescadores Libres del Nico, an organization that until last year was on the list of beneficiaries of the Secretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Sinaloa.

In 2020, said agency was headed until November by Sergio Torres, who left his position to be a candidate for Governor for the Citizen Movement party, later he was replaced by Maribel Chollet who also left the Secretariat to be a candidate for local Deputy.

According to the news site La Silla Rota, in 2020 the government headed by Quirino Ordaz granted 53 grants from the temporary fishing employment program to the company Pescadores Libres del Nico.

Out of Agenda | The DEA in Sinaloa:

It was a blow with repercussions in the electoral pre-campaigns for the governorship of Sinaloa. On January 29, the Navy seized several weeks’ production of fentanyl and methamphetamine from laboratories located in an area controlled by the likes of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.

The reaction was unusual. On Wednesday, February 3, a commando shot a group of federal agents outside a central hotel in Culiacán. There were no injuries or deaths, but the shooting occurred in an area “free” of video surveillance cameras, which had been taken out of circulation with bursts of assault rifles during the “celebrations” at the end of the year.

On the last Friday in January, a Navy reaction force intercepted a speedboat in the vicinity of the port of Topolobampo. The ship had left Las Arenitas hours before, in the community of Eldorado, in the municipality of Culiacán. This area is known for being the area of ​​the Sea of ​​Cortez that connects with the Baja California Sur maritime routes, with special surveillance by US agencies as it is 480 miles from the border.

The Navy seized two and a half tons of methamphetamine and 100,000 fentanyl pills with an approximate value of 90 million dollars. There were two people detained, José Gastelum Torres and Freddy Alejandro Gastelum Vega, both are part of the fishing cooperative “Pescadores Libres de Nico”, and are registered in the list of beneficiaries of the State Program for Temporary Employment of Fisheries 2020.

This program was launched by Sergio Torres Félix, then Secretary of Culture and Fisheries of Sinaloa, who resigned from his post a few months ago after the PRI rejected his aspirations to be the candidate for governor of the state.

Torres Félix, who was accused a few days ago of using shell companies to invoice purchases from the Culiacán city council when he was mayor, resigned from the PRI and joined the Moviento Ciudadano party, which launched him as a pre-candidate for governor. After learning that he benefited the fishing cooperative and the two individuals arrested with drugs, the politician made an exit.

What most attracted the attention of this operation was that it was carried out as part of the Strike Force Initiative that is operated by the Organized Crime Anti-Drug Task Forces (OCDETF), an inter-institutional initiative between several US agencies that carry out intelligence work to investigate and dismantle operations of transnational criminal organizations.

The case was presented last week in the court of the southern district of New York, where it was reflected that the US agencies headed by the DEA work closely with the Navy and not with the Army, after the Cienfuegos affair, with whom they share information about intelligence like the one that led to the seizure of drugs on the Sinaloan coast.

It is not clear if in this operation the agents adhered to the new legal framework for foreign agencies approved in recent months by the Congress of the Union. The only visible thing was that the DEA is still with undercover agents in Mexico for high-impact operations.

The narration of an undercover agent mentions that the Semar elements identified the boat when it left “Las Arenitas”, in Culiacán, Sinaloa, a ship that was heading to Baja California.

After a chase, the boat ran aground in Topolobampo, at which point the Navy elements carried out an inspection. There they assured, at first, methamphetamine and “fake pills of 30,000 grams of oxycodone” that serves as the basis for fentanyl.

Subsequently, Semar officials weighed the methamphetamine and counted the fentanyl pills. The methamphetamine weighed approximately 2.5 metric tons, and the fentanyl pills were approximately 100,000. During the operation, José Loreto Gastelum Torres and Fredy Alejandro Gastelum Vega were arrested, both accused of conspiring to “import approximately 2.5 tons of methamphetamine and 100,000 fentanyl pills into the United States.”

For its part, the United States Government announced that Gastelum Torres and Gastelum Vega were indicted before the Eastern District Court of New York for conspiring to import approximately 2.5 tons of methamphetamine and 100,000 fentanyl pills to the United States. with a value of approximately 90 million dollars in the market.

In a press release, the US Department of Justice quoted the statement of Raymond P. Donovan, special agent in charge of the DEA’s New York Division, who noted that there is a surge of fentanyl and methamphetamine seeking get from Mexico to the United States.

“For example, these two traffickers were caught red-handed with more than $ 90 million worth of fentanyl and methamphetamine. Traffickers see opportunities when production increases and seek to flood US markets with synthetic, highly addictive and dangerous drugs, ”said Donovan.

Gastelum Torres and Gastelum Vega, to whom a federal judge in Mexico imposed informal preventive detention for two months, while the complementary investigations are carried out in a period of two months, could face a minimum sentence of 10 years in the United States. jail or a maximum of life imprisonment.

“Thanks to the DEA, HSI, NYPD and the rest of our partners in the OCDETF New York Strike Force, as well as the Mexican Navy, a major shipment of potentially lethal drugs was intercepted, before it could […] poison and potentially killing untold numbers of people in the United States, ”added Audrey Strauss, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“Those arrested allegedly attempted to traffic thousands of fentanyl pills and multiple tons of methamphetamine, which would only exacerbate the plague currently ravaging our community while steadily increasing addictions and overdose deaths,” insisted Peter C. Fitzhugh of the Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Fredy Alejandro Gastelum Vega is one of the 53 citizens who, through the Secretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture Sinaloa, which was directed by Maribel Chollet Morán, obtained 53 supports paid with resources from taxpayers to finance “shrimp” fishing. on the coasts of Sinaloa.

‌The media reports that during 2020 the Secretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Sinaloa was led by Sergio Torres Félix, today a candidate for governor of Sinaloa for the Citizen Movement and Maribel Chollet Morán, aspiring local deputy. His place was taken by Evelio Plata Inzunza.

 Sources: Riodoce / LSR / Sin.gob.mx / ElSudCa/ Zeta / US DOJ

I encourage anyone with the courage and patience to peruse the Sinaloa State Governor ‘s Official Report, ie Quirono Ordaz Coppel :

You may have to Google it and Download it.

US DOJ Southern District of New York Indictment:

U.S. Attorneys » Southern District of New York » News » Press Releases

Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York

Friday, February 5, 2021

Mexican Drug Traffickers Charged With Conspiring To Import Large Quantities Of Narcotics Into The United States Based On Seizure Of 2.5 Tons Of Methamphetamine And 100,000 Fentanyl Pills

Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and Dermot Shea, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced that JOSE LORETO GASTELUM‑TORRES and FREDY ALEJANDRO GASTELUM‑VEGA were charged in a criminal complaint in Manhattan federal court with conspiring to import approximately 2.5 tons of methamphetamine and 100,000 fentanyl pills into the United States.  The charge arises from a January 29, 2021, seizure of approximately 2.5 tons of methamphetamine and 100,000 fentanyl pills in Sinaloa, Mexico.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “Thanks to the DEA, HSI, the NYPD, and the rest of our OCDETF New York Strike Force partners, a major shipment of potentially lethal drugs was interdicted before it could addict, poison, and potentially kill untold numbers of people in the United States.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Raymond P. Donovan said:  “There is a tidal wave of fentanyl and methamphetamine being pushed from Mexico into the United States.  Case in point, these two traffickers were allegedly caught red-handed with over $90 million dollars’ worth of fentanyl and methamphetamine.  Traffickers see opportunities when drug overdoses rise, and they are trying to flood American markets with these synthetic, highly addictive, and dangerous drugs.  DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to target drug networks to keep Americans safe and save lives.”

HSI Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh said:  “Those arrested allegedly sought to traffic thousands of fentanyl pills and multiple tons of methamphetamine, which would only exacerbate the plague currently devastating our community while steadily increasing addictions and overdose deaths.  The Strike Force has been a proven model for success in dismantling transnational narcotics trafficking organizations.  HSI showcased our unique value at the Strike Force in this case by leveraging our border resources to not only effectively address threats and vulnerabilities but moreover promote collaboration in furthering these investigations, making timely and significant arrests, and stopping deadly drugs from flooding our streets.”

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said:  “Today’s charges demonstrate that the investigative efforts of the NYPD in coordination with our law enforcement partners are far-reaching and focused.  As long as individuals, wherever they may be, are involved in illegal narcotics trafficking, the NYPD and our partners will relentlessly work to end the threat to public safety.  I commend and thank the NYPD investigators, members of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force Initiative, agents from the New York Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the attorneys at the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District, for their dedication to this investigation.

As alleged in the Complaint unsealed in federal court[1]:

On or about January 29, 2021, Mexico’s Secretaría de Marina (the “Mexican Navy”) located and began tracking an outboard‑powered boat traveling from Las Arenitas, Sinaloa, Mexico, northwest through the Gulf of California.  Approximately several hours later, the Mexican Navy interdicted the vessel in or around Topolobampo, Sinaloa, Mexico, and arrested GASTELUM‑TORRES and GASTELUM‑VEGA.  Mexican Navy officers seized approximately 960 plastic containers from the boat, which contained approximately 2.5 tons of methamphetamine and 100,000 pills of fentanyl.

GASTELUM‑TORRES, 53, and GASTELUM‑VEGA, 33, of Mexico, are each charged with conspiring to import at least 500 grams of methamphetamine and at least 400 grams of fentanyl into the United States, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants would be determined by the judge.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (“OCDETF”) Strike Force Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location.  This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations. 

This investigation was conducted by the OCDETF New York Strike Force in partnership with the DEA’s law enforcement partners.  The OCDETF New York Strike Force comprises federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies supported by OCDETF and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.  The Strike Force is affiliated with the DEA’s New York Division and includes agents and officers of the DEA, NYPD, New York State Police, HSI, U.S. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service, New York National Guard, Clarkstown Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard, Port Washington Police Department, and New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.  

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the OCDETF New York Strike Force.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Alexander Li, Benjamin Woodside Schrier, and Kyle A. Wirshba are in charge of the prosecution.

The charge contained in the Complaint is merely an allegation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint, and the description of the Complaint set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described herein should be treated as an allegation as to the defendants charged in the Complaint.

Attachment(s): Download Gastelum-Torres and Gastelum-Vega complaint (21 mag 1432)

Topic(s):  Drug Trafficking

Component(s):  USAO – New York, Southern

Contact: 

James Margolin, Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600

Press Release Number: 21-024