El Chapo’s sons fed enemies to tigers and used chiles for torture: DOJ

Drug-trafficking has provided cash for Los Chapitos, as the sons of notorious Mexican cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán call themselves.

But murder, mayhem and torture have kept them in power.

And those who dare cross them are sometimes fed, “dead or alive,” to tigers, according to the DOJ.

A recently released indictment accuses 28 Sinaloa Cartel members and leaders — including four of El Chapo’s sons: Iván and Alfredo Guzmán Salazar and Joaquín and Ovidio Guzmán López (nicknamed Raton, which translates to mouse or hangover) — of running “the largest, most violent and most prolific fentanyl trafficking operation in the world.”

It also reveals that the siblings’ and their henchmen’s sadistic violence knew no bounds, as is well known to cartel insiders and experts.

“They are the bosses and the violence they commit is terrible,” one source told The Post. “It seems like there is nothing that can be done to stop it.”

According to the indictment, the Navolato, Sinaloa, ranch owned by Iván, 39, was where rival traffickers, uncooperative law enforcers and unfaithful cartel members were taken for interrogations that turned into the stuff of horror movies.

Ovidio Guzmán López
Ovidio Guzmán López is said to be the least successful in terms of the family business.

Torture sessions included waterboarding and electrical shock, carried out by the Sinaloa Cartel’s “ninis,” a “particularly violent group of sicarios,” or hitmen, trained in “urban warfare … and sniper proficiency,” the indictment says.

Once victims spilled the wanted info, however, they became useless and were disposed of.

The lucky ones got shot and died quickly. The less fortunate were, according to the indictment, fed to tigers that Iván and Alfredo, 36, kept as pets.

One of the ninis, as cited in the indictment, used a corkscrew to rip out a Mexican federal law enforcement officer’s muscle, then “poured hot chiles in his open wounds and nose.”

After that, Ivan is said to have shot the officer dead.

Alfredo Guzmán Salazar
Alfredo Guzmán Salazar and his brother Ivan reportedly kept the tigers as pets at Ivan’s ranch.

That the Chapitos kill with impunity is a message that’s extended well beyond the ranch.

“You can go walking across the street in the Sinaloa and there are black bags with bodies left on the street,” said the source. “You go to school with your son in the morning, you both see these bags and you both know there are bodies in them. Nobody says anything. Everyone knows what they mean. The message that those bags send is, ‘Don’t cause trouble for us or this will happen to you.’”

Through a process called “cleaning,” as described in the indictment, Los Chapitos and their ninis would bring violence to areas of Mexico where they wanted to take over control of the drug trade.

 Iván Guzmán Salazar
According to Sean Penn’s story in Rolling Stone, Iván Guzmán Salazar is “considered heir to the Sinaloa cartel.”

Rival drug traffickers and government officials, the indictment states, “would be kidnapped, tortured and killed.”

But ordinary citizens have also been victimized.

Don Winslow, a novelist who has written heavily researched fiction about the cartels, told The Post that the Sinaloas offer deals that he described as “plato o plumo — silver or lead.”

As Winslow explained, when the cartel needs locals’ cooperation, often as drug mules, they offer a choice but not a lot of time to think about it.

Joaquín Guzmán López
Joaquín Guzmán López is known for being the most low key of the Chapitos.

“You say yes and you get a lot of money; you say no and [they’ll] kill you and might kill your family,” said the “City of Dreams” author. “They kill your kid right in front of you. If you don’t say yes after that, they kill you. Then they go to the next guy and ask, ‘Have you seen Philippe and his son around?’ The person they approach does not want to be next” so they tend to go along with whatever is asked.

And while the Guzmán brothers are charged with being brutal, Mexican journalist Jose Reveles has also described them as “show-offs, loud-mouthed and very indiscreet” and they’re alleged to have shown off their flashy criminal lives on social media.

In terms of the sibling pecking order, Iván is said to be El Chapo’s favorite and groomed for the drug trade from an early age. Sean Penn, in writing about his secret 2015 visit to see El Chapo for Rolling Stone, said that Ivan “is considered heir to the Sinaloa cartel.”

Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán being escorted by law enforcement officials after his arrest
Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmánwas arrested in 2016. At that point, his sons, known as Los Chapitos, put on a push for power.

Ovidio, 33, is reportedly the least successful of the children within the family business. His glamorous girlfriend, however, is cartel royalty: Adriana Meza Torres is the daughter of the late Raul Meza Ontiveros, part of the old guard of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Alfredo is said to wear splashy wristwatches and be in pursuit of top-dog status.

Little is known about El Chapo’s namesake, Joaquín, 36, who is said to keep a lower profile than his brothers. (While he and Alfredo are the same age, they have different mothers.)

Ovidio Guzmán López and Adriana Meza Torres
Ovidio’s girlfriend, Adriana Meza Torres, is also considered cartel royalty.

Cars burning in the streets of Culiacán, Mexico, after the arrest of Ovidio Guzmán López.
Ovidio’s January 2023 arrest led to public cartel violence and 29 deaths.

“They are spoiled rich kids who did not have to work their way up the ladder – it’s their Guzmán name that gives them the clout,” Malcom Beith, author of “The Last Narco,” told The Post.

Exactly how violent their army can get became evident when Ovidio — who is currently incarcerated in Mexico and fighting extradition to the US — was arrested in January, leading to 29 deaths. Cartel members blocked streets, set fire to vehicles and reportedly even fired shots at the local airport.

“Drug traffickers took to the streets and put the city [of Culiacán] under siege,” Beith said. “That is the power of the Chapitos.”

This article was originally posted here

NJ can withdraw from 1950s-era Waterfront Commission: SCOTUS

New Jersey can pull out of the 1950s-era commission it created with New York to fight the kind of Mafia corruption made famous in Marlon Brando’s “On The Waterfront,” the US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

Empire State officials had sued to stop the move, arguing corruption still exists and that the agreement the two states signed 70 years ago establishing the Waterfront Commission doesn’t let one leave without the other’s consent, according to Politico.

But New Jersey lawmakers — prodded by the shipping industry and powerful longshoreman’s union — have wanted out for years.

Strengthened industry oversight has largely severed the tendrils of organized crime that once wrapped themselves around the docks, the pols argued.

Now the two-member commission — which has its own police force and oversees licensing and inspections at the Port of New York and New Jersey — is little more than an “impediment to economic growth,” New Jersey said.

The high court unanimously sided with the Garden State, which has said its state police could take over the commission’s duties for it.

“We hold that New Jersey may unilaterally withdraw from the Waterfront Commission Compact notwithstanding New York’s opposition,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in the decision.

Marlon Brando in the movie "On the Waterfront.''
Acting legend Marlon Brando played a young longshoreman trying to fight corruption in the 1954 Academy Award-winning flick “On the Waterfront.”
Everett Collection

The ruling will effectively kill the 70-person agency, which was formed in 1953 after the mob wormed its way into the ports and violently extorted payments from shippers and workers alike — a situation immortalized in the 1954 Oscar-winning Brando classic.

Much has changed since then. Back in the ’50s, 70% of the port’s business came through the New York side. Now, about 80% of cargo passes through New Jersey.

The Garden State has wanted to leave the commission since at least 2018, when then-Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill to pull out of the agency.

The outside of the US Supreme Court.
The US Supreme Court said NJ can unilaterally leave the Waterfront Commission, which it created with NY in 1953 to fight mob corruption on the docks.

But New York balked and took the issue to the Supreme Court, which decides inter-state disputes.

Kavanaugh wrote in Tuesday’s decision that either party could end the contract, even though such a move was not specifically enunciated in the deal.

On Tuesday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James issued a combined statement that said they were disappointed by the court’s decision.

“For decades, the Waterfront Commission has been a vital law enforcement agency, protecting essential industries at the port and cracking down on organized crime,” the statement said. “We will continue to do everything in our power to combat corruption and crime, protect the health of our economy, and ensure the safety of New Yorkers.

With Post wires

This article was originally posted here

Feds charge 28 Sinaloa Cartel members, including El Chapo’s sons, for fentanyl trafficking

The Justice Department charged 28 members of Mexico’s notorious Sinaloa Cartel, including four of El Chapo’s sons, on Friday in a massive fentanyl trafficking case.

The sprawling charges announced by Attorney General Merrick Garland and the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration were filed in the Southern District of New York, Northern District of Illinois, and Washington, DC, and target both leaders and lower-level cartel members.

Four sons of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman — Ivan Guzman Salazar, 40, Alfredo Guzman Salazar, 37, Joaquin Guzman Lopez, 36, and Ovidio Guzman Lopez, 33 — who are known collectively as the Chapitos, face accusations of weapons and firearms possession, money laundering, and fentanyl-tracking. 

Ovidio Guzmán López is in custody along with seven other defendants. The other three sons of the drug kingpin remain at large.

Garland said some of those charged tortured their enemies, including Mexican cops, and even fed people who were still alive to tigers owned by the Chapitos. 

Garland said the defendants are responsible for “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.”

Garland speaking at presser.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the drug trafficking enforcement actions on Friday, April 14, saying the charges will disrupt the flow of illegal fentanyl.

Picture of fentanyl.
Almost 200 Americans die every day from fentanyl overdoses.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The arrests are the result of a decades-long investigation that spanned 10 countries and five continents, the Justice Department said.

As well as cartel leaders, lower-level members such as lab technicians who make the fentanyl and security team members are charged.

One of the men charged, Nestor Isidro Perez Salas, 31, is allegedly a lead sicario, or assassin, for the Chapitos.

Accused drug traffickers escorted by marines in Mexico City.
Fentanyl has been trafficked across the border at a record pace.
AFP/Getty Images

Ovidio Guzman
Ovidio Guzman, a son of El Chapo, has been arrested on suspicion of drug-related charges.

Arrests of drug traffickers.
The Justice Department outlined a massive trafficking network run by the Chapitos.
Xinhua /Landov

An estimated 196 American die each day from fentanyl overdoses, which increased an at alarming 94% between 2019 and 2021.

“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,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a statement.

Milgram said El Chapo, who is behind bars at a US maximum-security prison, and his sons “pioneered the manufacture and trafficking of fentanyl” in the “deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced.”

Packets of fentanyl mostly in powder form and methamphetamine.
An estimated 196 American die each day from fentanyl overdoses, which increased an at alarming 94% between 2019 and 2021.

A US Customs and Border Protection canine team checks automobiles for contraband in the line to enter the United States.
Feds say the Sinaloa Cartel has a “network of couriers, tunnels, and stash houses” in the US and Mexico to facilitate moving the drugs around the country.
AFP via Getty Images

Picture of burnt bus.
The burned wreckage of a bus a day after cartel gunmen clashed with federal forces, resulting in the release of Ovidio Guzman from detention.

In announcing the charges, the Justice Department outlined a massive trafficking network run by the Chapitos, who used cargo planes, private aircraft, trains, cars, boats and even submarines to transport fentanyl and the chemicals needed to make it.

Feds say the Sinaloa Cartel has a “network of couriers, tunnels, and stash houses” in the US and Mexico to facilitate moving the drugs around the country.

DEA agents “proactively infiltrated the Sinaloa Cartel and the Chapitos network, obtained unprecedented access to the organization’s highest levels, and followed them across the world,” Milgram said. 

This article was originally posted here