Antonio “Jaguar” Marrufo, a high-ranking Sinaloa Cartel member — and one of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s most notorious hitmen — has been extradited to the US from Mexico to face federal racketeering charges, according to officials.
His extradition was announced Tuesday night in a press release issued by the Department of Justice. He will be standing trial in Texas after being charged in the same April 2012 RICO indictment that Guzman was named in — alleging conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping, money laundering and drug distribution.
“The FBI El Paso Division is pleased with Mexico’s efforts to bring to justice a leader from one of the most violent criminal enterprises that has terrorized the El Paso and Juarez area,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. “The cooperation between our two countries’ law enforcement agencies is a powerful force in disrupting the Sinaloa Cartel Organization’s criminal activities that instill fear and threaten the safety of our citizens.”
Among the other Sinaloa cartel members who got charged in 2012 was Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia, Guzman’s alleged at-large partner. He and everyone else named in the indictment allegedly worked together to kidnap, torture and murder those who stood in the cartel’s way.
“No one person, community or country should endure the brutality described in these charges,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Boshek. “The cooperation between US and Mexican officials sends a clear message of our collaborative commitment to investigate and prosecute members of these criminal organizations.”
Marrufo had been sitting in jail in Mexico before getting extradited Tuesday. In the 2012 indictment, he is accused of two specific acts of violence. They include the ordering of a kidnapping in Horizon City, Texas, in September 2009 and conspiring to kidnap and murder an El Paso resident and two of his family members in May 2010.
“Specifically, Torres Marrufo ordered the kidnapping of the victim to answer for the loss of a 670-pound load of marijuana seized by Border Patrol at the Sierra Blanca checkpoint on Aug. 5, 2009,” the indictment says. “After the kidnapping, the victim was taken to Juarez where Torres Marrufo interrogated him and ordered that he be killed. On Sept. 8, 2009, the victim’s mutilated body was discovered in Juarez.”
In 2010, Marrufo allegedly ordered an individual in El Paso to travel to a wedding ceremony in Juarez so he could confirm the identity of a “target.” The target was the groom — a U.S. citizen and resident of Columbus, New Mexico.
“Under Torres Marrufo’s orders, the groom, his brother and his uncle were all kidnapped during the wedding ceremony and subsequently tortured and murdered,” the indictment says. “Their bodies were discovered by Juarez police a few days later in the bed of an abandoned pickup truck. Additionally, a fourth person was killed during the kidnapping at the wedding ceremony.”
Marrufo faces up to life in prison, if convicted. His name was brought up during El Chapo’s federal trial in New York earlier this year — with a witness claiming that he kept a sound-proof murder room.
“He took me once to a house, where the floor was just white, tiled,” said cartel snitch Edgar Galvan. “That’s where he killed people.”
The investigation into Marrufo ultimately led to the seizure of “hundreds of kilograms of cocaine,” according to federal officials. “Millions of dollars in drug proceeds” and “hundreds of weapons” were also seized.
“Through close and sustained cooperation with our partners in Mexico, we are bringing cartel leaders to justice,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Kyle Williamson. “This extradition sends a message to those leaders that we will relentlessly pursue them, no matter where they are or how long it takes.”
This article was originally posted here