January 16, 2018 08:00 AM
Updated 10 hours 10 minutes ago
The Chicago drug dealers working for notorious Mexican gangster El Chapo had a big problem on their hands: What should they do with the millions of dollars in cash they earned from selling cocaine?
They bought gold. Tens of millions of dollars worth from pawnshops — rings, necklaces and watches.
Then they had to find a place to fence it all.
More than a thousand miles away, in an industrial warehouse in South Florida, they found the perfect partner: an obscure gold-trading company called Golden Opportunities. El Chapo’s crew shipped the metal in dozens of FedEx deliveries to the Hallandale Beach company, according to federal court records.
The owners of Golden Opportunities, Jed and Natalie Ladin, may not have known they were working with Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as El Chapo — but between 2011 and 2014 his brutal Sinaloa cartel laundered nearly $100 million of cocaine cash through Golden Opportunities, court records show.
More than a dozen trailers transporting multi-ton shipments of frozen octopus have been reported stolen in Mexico in the last month, illustrating how crime groups are constantly seeking new revenue streams, even in seemingly unlikely places.
Since a devastating earthquakerocked Mexico City on September 19, 14 trailers carrying multi-ton frozen octopus shipments have been robbed on federal highways leading from the Caribbean state of Yucatán to other parts of the country, El Diario de Yucatán reported.
According to the local publication, each trailer carried 25 tons of octopus, an amount worth some $3 million. It’s estimated that the total losses accumulated from the robberies have now totaled more than $40 million.
Officials are searching for a Texas Mexican Mafia gang member with ties to Dallas who is wanted on a kidnapping charge and parole violation.
Johnny Garcia, 35, was last living in Kirby and has ties to Dallas, San Antonio and the Bexar County area, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Bexar County issued a warrant for his arrest in May related to the kidnapping of a female associate, according to DPS.
Garcia was convicted of assaulting a public servant when he was in prison in 2006 and sentenced to eight years. He punched and kicked a corrections officer, striking him on the head and face several times with the officer’s radio, according to DPS.
He also has convictions for assault, weapons offenses and drugs. He was paroled in 2014.
Garcia is 5-10 and weighs about 210 pounds. He has numerous tattoos, including “Mexicano” on his neck, “XIII” on his abdomen, “Garcia” on his back, Pancho Villa on his left arm and a tear drop near his left eye. He may go by the nicknames “Johnny Loco” or “Red Dog,” which he has tattooed on his left leg.
A $7,500 cash reward is being offered for information leading to his capture.
To be eligible for the reward, tipsters must provide information either by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-252-8477, texting the letters DPS followed by the tip to 274637, or submitting a tip through the DPS website, Facebook or the DPS mobile app. All tips are anonymous.
MEXICO CITY – The U.S. Embassy in Mexico says Sinaloa cartel co-founder Hector “El Guero” Palma will be turned over to Mexican authorities after his release from a U.S. prison.
The U.S. bureau of prisons says Palma will be released Saturday. Palma served five years in a Mexican prison before being extradited to the United States, where he was sentenced to 16 years for transporting 50 kilograms of cocaine.
It is unclear whether Palma still faces any charges in Mexico.
Attorney General Arely Gomez says prosecutors are looking through files for any remaining criminal cases. She said that in some cases the statute of limitations has expired.
Palma was arrested June 23, 1995 in western Mexico.
The embassy said Thursday that “the United States and Mexico enjoy strong cooperation in security.”