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Mexican Cartel Member Sentenced to Life in Prison for Violating RICO Statute

A Mexican national was sentenced today to life in prison for his role in the Sinaloa Cartel’s narcotics distribution operations. According to court documents, Arturo Shows Urquidi, aka “Chous,” 50, of Juarez, 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 headed for Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico. During his involvement with the Sinaloa Cartel, the Cartel successfully imported thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the United States worth over $1 billion.

On October 22, 2021, a federal jury in El Paso convicted Shows of one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization statute (RICO) for his role as a member 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.

“The sentencing of Arturo Shows Urquidi is the culmination of years of work to investigate and bring to justice a significant member of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel,” said Greg Millard, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Division. In addition to the above charges, Shows’ co-defendant, Mario Iglesias-Villegas, aka “Dos,” “El 2,” “Delta,” “Parka,” “Grim Reaper,” 36, of Villa Ahumada, 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. Iglesias is scheduled for sentencing on March 24, 2022.

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.

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