El Mochomo was sentenced to life in prison and US$529million asset forfeiture yesterday in Washington.
The Beltrán Leyvas were the “armed wing” of the Sinaloa cartel, says the WaPo:
Alfredo “El Mochomo” Beltrán-Leyva and his brothers once ran an organization that served as the armed wing of Guzmán’s Sinaloa cartel, Mexico’s most powerful drug syndicate, court files show. But El Mochomo’s capture by Mexican special forces in 2008 — which Mexican federal officials said his siblings blamed on Guzmán — launched a string of shadowy betrayals between the groups and detonated a bloody drug war with effects that haunt Mexico nearly a decade later.
Now, U.S. prosecutors have closed in on both kingpins. The prosecution of Beltrán-Leyva, who pleaded guilty last year, offers a tantalizing glimpse of the U.S. government’s long pursuit of Guzmán, including a shared cast of cooperating witnesses and a trail of escalating financial penalties including plea deals to hand over billions in illegal gains.
The half-billion dollar forfeiture order by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon of the District comes after judges in Washington have entered judgments of at least $10 billion since 2013 against Gulf cartel members, the largest criminal financial penalties in a U.S. drug prosecution.
Mochomo means Desert Ant, according to the WaPo. On the eve of the trial in February last year, El Mochomo plead guilty without a deal. He controlled over 100 hit men in his heyday.
Meanwhile, U.S. authorities,
U.S. authorities are asking for a $14 billion order against El Chapo, who was extradited to the United States in January and awaits federal trial in Brooklyn.
It remains to be seen a. whether El Mochomo will rat on El Chapo, and b. whether the U.S. can collect on the asset forfeitures in both cases, beyond what they may already have.
InSight Crime has been reporting extensively on the Bertrán Leyva Organization for years,