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“El Chapo” Guzman’s Case Will Rely Heavily on Snitches from Chicago

Maureen Meehan

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El Chapo

Now that drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who twice escaped from maximum-security prisons in Mexico, has been extradited and will stand trial in New York, government informers are expected to be presenting the most damaging evidence against their former boss.

Testimony from Chicago twin brothers, Margarito and Pedro Flores, about El Chapo’s business-like approach to his Sinaloa Cartel will be heard at the trial.

“Guzman’s guilt will also be proven through consensually recorded conversations of Guzman during which he discusses specific drug transactions,” federal prosecutors said, undoubtedly referring to the Flores twins who were trusted aides to Sinaloa’s kingpin from 1998 to 2008.

Known as the turncoat twins from Chicago, where they ran a nearly $2 billion drug ring in the Windy City until a routine police stop and a half a joint in 2003 later encouraged them to turn on their Mexican supplier—El Chapo Guzman.

Their heroin business and other illegal activities could have put the Flores brothers in prison for life, but instead they only got 14 years in exchange for cooperating with prosecutors to help frame the boss of the Sinaloa Cartel, which supplied 80 percent of the cocaine sold on Chicago’s street in 2013. Chicago is seen as the transportation hub of America, a fact not lost on the Mexican cartels

The Flores brothers, while acting as trusted aides to Guzman, took dangerous undercover assignments like recording conversations with him on the phone and taping him in face-to-face talks with his top leaders using recorders hidden their pockets.

Their cooperation, thought to provide the most potent insider view of El Chapo, “detail in real-time drug trafficking activity” according to prosecutors, reported the local ABC station in Chicago.

The Flores twins will offer personal knowledge of the private army, navy and air force commanded by El Chapo to move his shipments into Chicago, New York and other U.S. markets.

Guzman built a fleet of tractor-trailers, aircraft (including a Boeing 747), luxury yachts, fishing vessels, container ships and even submarines to deliver the goods.

Indeed, prosecutors have portrayed the Flores twins as two of the most significant undercover operatives in the history of the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago.

As extradition of El Chapo from Mexico has been in the works this past year, the Flores twins were thought to be a major reason Chicago prosecutors had the best case against Guzman.

However, even though New York landed the case for prosecution, jurisdictional lines do not prevent U.S. attorneys from blending evidence gathered in several federal districts, especially since the Sinaloa Cartel boss is being charged with overseeing a network of operatives that distributed cocaine across the nation.

Chicago authorities can also prosecute Guzman in the future, which would mean a repeat performance by the Flores twins in their hometown.

Naturally, the Flores brothers are in the government’s Witness Security Program and have not been publicly seen since their sentencing in Chicago back in January 2015.

Their father, however, was not so fortunate. In 2009, Margarito Flores, Sr. was kidnapped and killed by a cartel hit squad in Mexico. A note found at the scene read: “Your sons are rats.”

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