Drug baron El Chapo used seafood front organisations to build his narcotics empire

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Using fictional companies called Corral Seafoods, Alfaro and Martha Aguirre disguised kilogram quantities of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine on invoices and other documents as “Sea Cucumbers”.

A henchman working for the Mexican drug dealer Joaquín “El Chapo” Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, the infamous leader of the Sinaloa cartel – used seafood companies as a front to launder over USD 12 million.

In a legal bulletin on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced that Juan Alfaro, 52, of Hacienda, California, who was convicted of narcotics conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, was sentenced to serve 120 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang, who handled the trial, stated that the defendant was a member of a transnational drug trafficking organization that utilized contacts and a source of supply whose territory included Mexico, Arizona, California, and elsewhere. The source of supply was the Sinaloa Cartel, led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.

Alfaro was convicted, along with co-defendant Martha Aguirre, following a jury trial in March 2019. Martha Aguirre’s brother Herman E. Aguirre was the leader of the organization.

Alfaro and Martha Aguirre used “front” companies to launder over USD 12 million in drug proceeds from Buffalo to Los Angeles, including Triton Foods, Inc. and Kamora Investment Enterprises, Inc., which were located in the State of California. Another fictitious company, Corral Seafoods, LLC, registered in the State of New York, was allegedly located in Cheektowaga, NY, but proved to be completely fake.

Using these companies, Alfaro and Martha Aguirre disguised kilogram quantities of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine on invoices and other documents as “Sea Cucumbers”. The local organization trafficked thousands of kilograms of illegal narcotics throughout the United States, including Lockport, Niagara Falls, and Buffalo.

During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers seized over USD 5,000,000 worth of illegal narcotics, including:

• 52.5 kilograms of cocaine;
• 17.5 kilograms of heroin; and
• 8.5 kilograms of fentanyl

Alfaro is one of 17 defendants convicted in this case. Martha Aguirre is scheduled to be sentenced on September 30, 2019.

EL Chapo – who was give a life sentence plus 30 years in June – also used a front fish flour business – as well as many “ventures” – to tranport marijuana from Mexico to the US.