"El Chino Antrax" Pleads Guilty in San Diego

Jose Rodrigo Arechiga-Gamboa, aka "El Chino Antrax", the young, flashy alleged "sicario" for Sinaloa (Zambada faction) and logistics coordinator (El Chapo Guzman), pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in San Diego to conspiracy to import more than 5 kilos of cocaine and more than 1000 pounds of marijuana. He also agreed to forfeit $1 million.

His plea agreement is not publicly available on PACER, but that's routine for San Diego, so it does not necessarily mean he cooperated. There's nothing to indicate it is sealed.


His indictment included 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, and that was dropped from the Information he pleaded guilty to.

At the change of plea hearing, he acknowledged responsibility for some unspecified acts of violence for the Sinaloa cartel:

He acknowledged the cartel’s use of violence against rivals to promote business, and further admitted directly participating in and ordering others to commit such violence.

That will bump his guidelines up. The penalty is a mandatory minimum 10 years and maximum of life. If he is cooperating, the Government can ask for a sentence below the 10 years. If he isn't cooperating, he will be stuck with at least 10 years since he won't qualify for the safety valve due to his admission his offense involved acts of violence.

The court docket says his case is related to those of Rafael Feliz-Nunez, aka Changito Antrax, (arrested in Mexico, extradition request is pending) Jesus Quinonez-Flores, aka Chikiyo, and Eliseo Imperial-Castro, aka Cheyo Antrax, as well as the case of Sinaloa Cartel Plaza Boss Alfonso Arzate-Garcia, aka Aquiles, and his brother, Rene Arzate-Garcia, aka La Rana.

Also related: the case of Alfonso Limon-Sanchez, aka Poncho, who is under arrest in Mexico with an extraditon request pending.

The Antrax are allegedly the enforcers for Sinaloa, and in particular, Ismael Zambada-Garcia. El Chino reportedly worked for both, but primarily for the Zambadas. Another related case, according to the Government, is that of Joel Enrique Sandoval Romero, alias "El 19, who was arrested in February, 2014, a few days before El Chapo was captured when police got his cell phone number off the phone of another arrested cartel member, Daniel Fernández Domínguez "El Pelacas", who was arrested earlier in February.

His case is also related to those of Sinaloa co-leader Ismael Zambada-Garcia's sons, Serafin Zambada-Ortiz (who has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing), Ismael Zambada-Imperial, aka Mayito Gordo (arrested in November, 2014, with an extradition request pending), and Ismael Zambada-Sicairos, aka Mayito Flaco, who, like his father Ismael Zambada-Garcia, has not been apprehended.

El Chino Antrax was indicted in December, 2013. He was arrested in the Netherlands the same month, and extradited to San Diego in July, 2014. January, 2014.

In November 2014, Mexican law enforcement arrested Ismael Zambada-Imperial, aka Mayito Gordo; Alfonso Limon-Sanchez, aka Poncho; and Rafael Felix-Nunez, aka Changito.

In May, 2014, while he was in jail in Amsterdam awaiting extradition, El Chino's former girlfriend and the mother of one of his children was kidnapped, tortured and killed in Mexico.

Here's a wedding photo I found on a social media page in Mexico. The woman is not the woman who was killed, but a different woman with whom he also had a child.

While the Government crows about the quantities of drugs and money seized from the Sinaloa cartel, it's pretty clear these arrests, from El Chapo to El Chino Antrax and the Zambada sons, haven't made a dent. The drugs keep coming in from Mexico, while the money goes back. There's still enough of a profit to make it worth their while. It's time for a different strategy.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Agreed. Some new thinking is ... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 21, 2015 at 07:11:04 PM EST
    needed desperately, because at times Mexico appears to be teetering on the brink of an implosion, the likes of which we perhaps haven't seen since Porfirio Diaz was forcibly removed from power in 1910.

    The Mexican authorities often appear impotent in the face of the threats posed by the cartels, and they've lost control of several sections of the country, particularly in the states along the U.S. border. This breaking story from Guerrero, in which two rival gangs are presently squaring off in the town of Chilapa while the police and military are effectively standing down, only underscores the growing chaos down there.

    And our own nation's punitive responses to events in that country have been equally heartbreaking and frustrating to watch, because our interests will not be served by the rise and presence of a de facto and hyperviolent narco-state on our southern frontier.

    My Texas in-laws no longer visit their relatives down there, so fearful are they of getting caught in some sort of crossfire or being kidnapped. There was a time not all that long ago when I would have dismissed such fears as exaggerated. Nowadays, however, I'd be minimizing the risk were I to say that, particularly since they prefer to drive and not fly when traveling south of the border.

    Clearly, what's being done right now is not working. That said, I'm at a loss as to a potential solution, other than rethinking our own approach to the drug war on our side of the border, and undertaking a better effort at interdicting the steady flow of firearms into Mexico from the U.S.

    (On a related historical note, March 9 of next year will mark the 100th anniversary of Gen. Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, NM during the Mexican Civil War, which he launched in an effort to relieve U.S. gunrunners in that border town of their inventory. He was eventually repulsed, but not before 90 Villistas, 8 U.S. soldiers and 10 townspeople perished in the ensuing gun battle.)


    The only way is to remove the profit (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 21, 2015 at 08:05:14 PM EST

    I propose we make all illegal drugs available for free at your local pharmacy after registering as an addict.

    I would exclude "date rape" drugs.

    And I would exclude MJ and sell it at your local ABC store. Tobacco and alcohol products would also be sold only at ABC stores.

    The flip side is that we spend the savings on education and any illegal sales would result in 10 years first offense.

    ... (May 22, 2915), an attack by the Jalisco New Generation cartel led to an hours-long firefight with local police, resulting in 39 persons killed.