El Chapo’s international drug trafficking cartel had a high-ranking member and “assassin” sent from Mexico to the US to face drug-related crimes and gun charges.
Jorge Ivan Gastelum Avila, also known as Cholo Ivan, is 42 years old. On Monday, April 3, he made his first appearance in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to face multiple charges from when he was a high-ranking member of the Sinaloa Cartel from August 2009 to January 2016.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice said that he was charged with murder, drug trafficking, and money laundering.
Sinaloa Cartel was an international drug trafficking group run by Joaquin Guzman Loera, also called “El Chapo,” and Ismael Zambada Garcia, also called “El Mayo.”
The cartel got a lot of attention from around the world because of how violently they made, imported, and sold tons of cocaine and marijuana from Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras to Mexico and then to the United States.
A spokesperson for the cartel said that Gastelum Avila was a “lead sicario,” which means an assassin. As the “plaza boss” for the Mexican city of Guamchil, Sinaloa, he worked closely with El Chapo.
He Was the Leader of 200 Men
“In that job, he was in charge of at least 200 armed men and all drug trafficking in that city and the areas around it,” a spokesperson said.
Gastelum Avila and El Chapo were both caught by police in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, in January 2016 as they tried to run away.
Gastelum Avila was charged by a grand jury in December 2018, which led U.S. officials to ask Mexican authorities for a temporary arrest. So, Gastelum Avila stayed in jail until he could be sent to the right place.
The tweet below confirms the news:
He worked closely with El Chapo as the “plaza boss," supervising at least 200 armed men and controlling drug-trafficking activities. https://t.co/o17zgIwDUM
— WHIO-TV (@whiotv) April 10, 2023
On April 1, he was sent back to the United States from Mexico.
Gastelum Avila was charged with making and selling more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than a thousand kilograms of marijuana with the intent and knowledge that these drugs would be brought into the U.S. He was also charged with conspiracy to import these drugs.
He was also charged with using, carrying, brandishing, and firing a gun, including a destructive device, knowingly and on purpose during and in connection with a drug trafficking crime.
For the drug conspiracy charge, the suspect could spend the rest of his life in prison, and for the gun charge, he must serve 30 years in prison.
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