Leaders of drug lord El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel in Chicago became Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) informants in 2008 and helped the feds arrest 54 senior cartel operatives.
Mexican daily El Universal reports siblings Pedro and Margarito Flores gave up their cartel comrades in exchange for 14 years behind bars instead of life. They smuggled over 66,000 tons of cocaine into the U.S over seven years.
The twins’ father – who is also in the drug trade – was kidnapped in 2009 during their trials and his whereabouts are unknown to this day. Documents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois reveal that the twins’ recordings of conversations with El Chapo were essential to his capture.
Not only did the twin brothers ensure the Sinaloa Cartel dominated the drug trafficking business in Chicago but they also exported Mexican gang culture into the city according, to El Universal. Chicago became, “Little Sinaloa… Culturally, they [the Flores brothers] popularized idolizing Mexican drug dealers, their saints, guns covered in gold, a preference for high-flying Texan women and pointy boots.”
El Universal reports that according to documents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, “just from 2005 to 2008 the twins placed [their product] on the streets of Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, New York and Washington [to the tune of] over 551 tons of coke per month.” According to testimony provided to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the twins made over $1 billion.
The Flores brothers thought the tide was shifting in the drug trade and rather than risk life behind bars, they willingly became undercover informants for the DEA in 2008. The recordings provided by the brothers over time would be “the first time U.S. [officials] heard his voice.”
El Universal goes on to state that “according to the Chicago Crime Commission, the Sinaloa Cartel currently has over 100,000 operatives in the city.” Many gang members reside in the predominantly Mexican neighborhood known as La Villita – “The Little City” – and young people proudly wear clothing associated with Mexican cartel culture.
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