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November 5, 2021Tucson, AZ, United StatesNarcotics

High-ranking members of the Sinaloa Cartel charged with international drug trafficking

TUCSON, Ariz. – Two indictments were unsealed in federal court that charge high-ranking members of the Sinaloa Cartel with international drug trafficking following investigations lead by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

On Nov. 13, 2019, and Feb. 19, 2020, a federal grand jury in Tucson returned superseding indictments against cartel members Aureliano Guzman-Loera of Sinaloa, Mexico, and brothers Ruperto, Jose, and Heriberto Salgueiro-Nevarez, of Guadalupe Y Calvo, Mexico.

The indictments allege various violations of United States law occurring over several years related to the international distribution of controlled substances, including fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana.

The Salgueiro-Nevarez brothers allegedly operate a faction of the Sinaloa Cartel known as the SNO, which stands for the Salgueiro-Nevarez Organization. Aureliano Guzman-Loera is the brother of former Sinaloa Cartel leader, Joaquin Guzman-Loera, “El Chapo”.

An indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) assisted HSI in the SNO investigation. The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson, is handling the prosecutions.

HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move.