After Fast and Furious, Mexican narco’s defense: He was aiding the US
More unintended consequences for Fast & Furious:
Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, aka “El Vicentillo,” son of the Sinaloa Federation’s top guy, is standing trial in the US, and has come up with a new line of defense,
The Zambada legal team’s July 29 motion caused quite a stir by claiming that the U.S. government had cut a deal with the Sinaloa Federation via the group’s lawyer, Humberto Loya Castro, in which El Chapo and El Mayo would provide intelligence to the U.S. government regarding rival cartels. In exchange, the U.S. government would not interfere in Sinaloa’s drug trafficking and would not seek to apprehend or prosecute Loya, El Chapo, El Mayo and the rest of the Sinaloa leadership — a deal reportedly struck without the Mexican government’s knowledge.
Hey, considering the Fast and Furious operation, it was only a matter of time before someone tried this line.
The Stratfor analysis agrees,
The allegations generated such a buzz in part because they came so soon after revelations that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Justice Department had permitted guns illegally purchased in the United States to “walk” into Mexico in an operation called “Fast and Furious.” Marked differences separate the two cases, however, making the existence of any deal between Sinaloa and the U.S. government highly unlikely. Accordingly, the government will likely deny the allegations in its impending response. Even so, the July 29 allegations still could prove useful for El Vicentillo’s defense strategy.
Large portions of the discovery request also focus on obtaining documents from the Fast and Furious hearings, and the defense team appears to be attempting to establish that if the U.S. government was willing to let guns walk in Fast and Furious, it also would be willing to let narcotics walk into the United States.
Additionally, as Bob Owens points out,
Operation Fast and Furious only made logical sense if the goal of the operation was first and foremost to put U.S. guns in the hands of the Sinaloa cartel, and at Mexican crime scenes.
Now that a high-ranking Sinaloa criminal is on trial in the US, will the defense be able to persuade the media and a jury to the point where El Vicentillo is acquitted?