Federal authorities unsealed an indictment filed against the head of the Gulf Cartel. The feared drug lord is currently in a Mexican jail fighting extradition to Texas.

Known by his nickname “El Contador or the Accountant,” Jose Alfredo Cardenas is the long-time head of the Matamoros faction of the Gulf Cartel. In a prepared statement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed that Cardenas had been at the helm of the organization since 2015. A federal grand jury in Brownsville indicted Cardenas on November 10, 2021, however, the information was filed under seal.

Jose Alfredo “El Contador” Cardenas Martinez (file photo)

The capture was the third arrest for Cardenas who managed to beat prior arrests under suspicious rulings from Mexican judges.

El Contador is in a Mexican prison where he is fighting extradition to the U.S. In Mexico, he also faces state charges in Tamaulipas for kidnapping and organized criminal activities.

According to U.S. prosecutors, Cardenas faces conspiracy charges related to smuggling large quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl. As head of the Gulf Cartel in Matamoros, Cardenas oversaw and coordinated the shipment of drugs through the border cities controlled by his organization, prosecutors claimed.

El Contador inherited control from Eduardo “El Cos” Costilla Sanchez, who was arrested in Mexico and subsequently extradited to the U.S., where he awaits sentencing. Cardenas is the nephew of supreme Gulf Cartel boss Osiel Cardenas Guillen, who also founded Los Zetas as his personal bodyguard group. Osiel Cardenas is currently in a U.S. prison on a 25-year prison sentence.

The case against El Contador is based on a joint investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations.

“The arrest of Jose Alfredo Cardenas-Martinez serves a tough blow to the Gulf Cartel Organization,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux. “It is the culmination of a successful international drug investigation which should disrupt the Gulf Cartel’s ability to smuggle drugs into Texas and other communities.”

If convicted, El Contador faces a possible life term in prison.

“Through the joint investigation from our office in Harlingen, in coordination with our Attaché in Mexico and other partners, we were able to gather significant evidence that was instrumental in the case against “El Contador,” said Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). “HSI and our law enforcement partners will continue to coordinate to dismantle any suspected transnational criminal organizations that threaten public safety.”

No comments:

Post a Comment