Alleged Gulf Cartel leader Juan Francisco Sáenz-Tamez captured

By Dialogo
October 24, 2014



Juan Francisco Sáenz-Tamez, the alleged kingpin of the Gulf Cartel, a violent Mexican transnational criminal organization, paid for his recent shopping trip with his freedom.

Agents with the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) captured him October 9 when he crossed the border to shop in Edinburg in the U.S. state of Texas. A year before, in September 2013, a U.S. grand jury had indicted Sáenz-Tamez on charges of conspiracy with intent to distribute cocaine, conspiracy with intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to launder money. Now, he faces a minimum of 10 years to life in federal prison if found guilty on the drug charges, while the money-laundering charge carries up to 20 years in federal prison.

“Juan Francisco Sáenz-Tamez became the head of the Gulf Cartel following the 2013 arrest of former leader Mario Ramírez Treviño,” said Michele M. Leonhart, the administrator of the DEA. “He moved steadily up the cartel ranks, working as a lookout, record keeper, plaza boss, and finally its leader."

“Thanks to the quick actions of the DEA and our local partners, we were able to identify and safely arrest Sáenz-Tamez while he was in the United States. He oversaw much of the violence and bloodshed that has plagued Mexico and the DEA is pleased he will face justice in the United States.”

Sáenz-Tamez, 23, is a native of Camargo in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. He allegedly directed a $100 million (USD) cocaine and marijuana-trafficking operation that smuggled thousands of kilograms of drugs from the Mexican city of Matamoros across the U.S. border into Texas. From there, they were transported to the U.S. states of Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Mississippi, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Maryland and Georgia, in addition to the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C.

U.S. federal prosecutors are seeking to seize up to $100 million (USD) in assets Sáenz-Tamez allegedly acquired through his criminal activities.

The capture of Sáenz-Tamez occurred during the same month that Mexican security forces captured two other alleged drug cartel leaders. On October 9, Mexican Federal Police (PF) captured Vicente Carrillo Fuentes -- the alleged leader of the Juárez Cartel who is also known as “El Viceroy” and “El General” -- at a traffic checkpoint in the northern Mexican city of Torreón.

And on October 1, Mexican Army soldiers captured Héctor Beltrán Leyva, the suspected leader of the Beltrán Leyva Cartel, which is also known as the Beltrán Leyva Organization (BLO). Without firing a shot, troops captured the alleged drug kingpin, who is also known as “The Engineer” and “The H,” inside a seafood restaurant in the city of San Miguel de Allende.

Alleged Colombian narco-trafficker linked to more than 100 murders captured


Cooperation between agents with Brazil’s Federal Police and the Colombian National Police led to the capture of Marcos de Jesus Figueroa, 47, an alleged Colombian narco-trafficker wanted in connection with more than 100 murders, the Colombian Defense Ministry announced on October 22. In a joint operation, Brazilian and Colombian police captured the alleged drug kingpin, who is also known as “Marquitos Figueroa,” in a luxurious house in the Brazilian city of Boa Vista.

Colombian police suspect Marquitos Figueroa in the killings of several elected politicians, including the 2012 slaying of former Barrancas Mayor Yandra Brito Carillo and the 2012 murder of former legislator Efrain Ovalle Onate. He was also suspected of leading a criminal gang in the department of Cesar that had been led by Francisco “Kiko” Gómez before he was arrested in October 2013 on charges of murder and for having ties to paramilitary groups. Additionally, Marquitos Figueroa was wanted on illegal possession of firearms and conspiracy charges.


Juan Francisco Sáenz-Tamez, the alleged kingpin of the Gulf Cartel, a violent Mexican transnational criminal organization, paid for his recent shopping trip with his freedom.

Agents with the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) captured him October 9 when he crossed the border to shop in Edinburg in the U.S. state of Texas. A year before, in September 2013, a U.S. grand jury had indicted Sáenz-Tamez on charges of conspiracy with intent to distribute cocaine, conspiracy with intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to launder money. Now, he faces a minimum of 10 years to life in federal prison if found guilty on the drug charges, while the money-laundering charge carries up to 20 years in federal prison.

“Juan Francisco Sáenz-Tamez became the head of the Gulf Cartel following the 2013 arrest of former leader Mario Ramírez Treviño,” said Michele M. Leonhart, the administrator of the DEA. “He moved steadily up the cartel ranks, working as a lookout, record keeper, plaza boss, and finally its leader."

“Thanks to the quick actions of the DEA and our local partners, we were able to identify and safely arrest Sáenz-Tamez while he was in the United States. He oversaw much of the violence and bloodshed that has plagued Mexico and the DEA is pleased he will face justice in the United States.”

Sáenz-Tamez, 23, is a native of Camargo in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. He allegedly directed a $100 million (USD) cocaine and marijuana-trafficking operation that smuggled thousands of kilograms of drugs from the Mexican city of Matamoros across the U.S. border into Texas. From there, they were transported to the U.S. states of Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Mississippi, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Maryland and Georgia, in addition to the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C.

U.S. federal prosecutors are seeking to seize up to $100 million (USD) in assets Sáenz-Tamez allegedly acquired through his criminal activities.

The capture of Sáenz-Tamez occurred during the same month that Mexican security forces captured two other alleged drug cartel leaders. On October 9, Mexican Federal Police (PF) captured Vicente Carrillo Fuentes -- the alleged leader of the Juárez Cartel who is also known as “El Viceroy” and “El General” -- at a traffic checkpoint in the northern Mexican city of Torreón.

And on October 1, Mexican Army soldiers captured Héctor Beltrán Leyva, the suspected leader of the Beltrán Leyva Cartel, which is also known as the Beltrán Leyva Organization (BLO). Without firing a shot, troops captured the alleged drug kingpin, who is also known as “The Engineer” and “The H,” inside a seafood restaurant in the city of San Miguel de Allende.

Alleged Colombian narco-trafficker linked to more than 100 murders captured


Cooperation between agents with Brazil’s Federal Police and the Colombian National Police led to the capture of Marcos de Jesus Figueroa, 47, an alleged Colombian narco-trafficker wanted in connection with more than 100 murders, the Colombian Defense Ministry announced on October 22. In a joint operation, Brazilian and Colombian police captured the alleged drug kingpin, who is also known as “Marquitos Figueroa,” in a luxurious house in the Brazilian city of Boa Vista.

Colombian police suspect Marquitos Figueroa in the killings of several elected politicians, including the 2012 slaying of former Barrancas Mayor Yandra Brito Carillo and the 2012 murder of former legislator Efrain Ovalle Onate. He was also suspected of leading a criminal gang in the department of Cesar that had been led by Francisco “Kiko” Gómez before he was arrested in October 2013 on charges of murder and for having ties to paramilitary groups. Additionally, Marquitos Figueroa was wanted on illegal possession of firearms and conspiracy charges.
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