El Chapo’s alleged top money launderer has been extradited to the U.S. from Mexico in connection with an investigation into the Sinaloa Cartel’s finances and drug trafficking, according to the Department of Justice.
Juan Manuel Alvarez-Inzunza, 39, is accused of helping the cartel move hundreds of millions of dollars a year in profits from cocaine and methamphetamine out of the U.S. and into Mexico.
He had been in Mexican custody since March 2016. U.S. Marshals flew him from Mexico City to San Diego Wednesday ahead of his arraignment the following morning, authorities said.
“International drug kingpins and money launderers who profit by shipping narcotics into our community are not safe from prosecution,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “We will work with our international partners to bring them to justice wherever they reside.”
Alvarez-Inzunza faces charges of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, conspiracy to distribute cocaine intended for importation, conspiracy to import cocaine and methamphetamine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine.
Mexico’s Federal Police arrested Alvarez-Inzunza, who was nicknamed “King Midas,” while he was vacationing in Oaxaca, outside the cartel’s territory and without his usual security, according to El Pais, a Spanish newspaper.
Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Sinaloa Cartel’s longtime leader, was sentenced to life in federal prison in 2019 for his role atop the international drug-smuggling ring.
Authorities escort Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, center, from a plane in Ronkonkoma, N.Y. Guzman admitted that women are his only addiction during a 2016 interview with a criminologist in Mexico, according to media reports. (U.S. law enforcement via AP, File)
As Mexico’s most powerful drug lord, he ran a cartel responsible for smuggling mountains of cocaine and other drugs into the United States during his 25-year reign, prosecutors said in court papers.
Under Guzman’s leadership, the Sinaloa cartel – one of the world’s largest drug trafficking organization – was responsible for multiple murders and smuggling mountains of cocaine and other drugs into the United States. Prosecutors also previously said his “army of sicarios,” or “hit men,” was under orders to kidnap, torture and kill anyone who got in his way.
Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.