Martha Aguirre used fake seafood companies to disguise kilogram quantities of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine on invoices and other documents as “Sea Cucumbers”.
A henchwoman 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 Wednesday, U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced that announced Martha Aguirre, 47, of Westminster, California, who was convicted of narcotics conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, was sentenced to serve 150 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.
Her co-defendant Juan Alfaro was jailed for the same amount of time, early in September.
Aguirre and Juan Alfaro used “front” companies to launder over USD 12,000,000 in drug proceeds from Buffalo to Los Angeles, including Triton Foods, Inc. and Kamora Investment Enterprises, which were located in the State of California. Another fictitious seafood company, Corral Seafoods, registered in the State of New York, was allegedly located in Cheektowaga, NY, but proved to be completely fake.
Using these companies, Aguirre and Juan Alfaro 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.
“Today’s sentence represents just deserts for the principals of a once flourishing, multi-million dollar, international drug trafficking conspiracy that was operating under cover of a food distribution business. The volume of drugs moved by this organization endangered the health and welfare of countless Americans, including many here in Western New York. I commend the work of the federal, state, and local law enforcement officers from across our country who, together with the tremendous prosecutors in this Office, worked tirelessly to deliver justice to 17 individuals who delivered poison and pain throughout our Nation,” said U.S. Attorney Kennedy.
EL Chapo – meaning “Shorty” – was given a life sentence plus 30 years in June. Former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, which the US Justice Department describes as “one of the world’s most prolific, violent and powerful drug cartels,” moving billions upon billions of dollars in marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
At one opoint it controlled roughly 40% to 60% of Mexico’s drug trade, and his cartel once used a fake fish flour business to tranport coke from Mexico to the US.