Feds nab another associate of ‘El Chapo’
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter April 16, 2014 10:48AM
Updated: May 19, 2014 1:41PM
Another of Sinaloa drug cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s alleged henchmen has been arrested and is facing federal charges in a Chicago court.
Edgar Manuel Valencia Ortega — known as the “Fox” — was arrested in Las Vegas in January and secretly brought to Chicago, court documents reveal.
His capture is another step in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s and federal prosecutors’ efforts to dismantle the world’s most powerful illegal drugs network.
Valencia, who pleaded not guilty last week in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo, coordinated the delivery of large shipments of cocaine into the U.S. from Mexico, and collected and laundered drug money, prosecutors allege.
His capture was revealed this week in a ruling by another U.S. District Court judge, Matthew Kennelly.
When he was first brought by the feds to the Chicago area, Valencia was hidden inside Oak Park police station, in the hope that he might cooperate with authorities, Kennelly wrote.
But Valencia declined the offer and could now stand trial alongside “El Chapo,” if the kingpin is ever extradited from Mexico, where he was captured in February.
Valencia is the fourth codefendant charged alongside “El Chapo” in Chicago known to have been captured. Two of them, Vicente Zambada-Niebla and Tomas Arevalo-Renteria, have pleaded guilty. A third, Alfredo Vasquez-Hernandez, is due to stand trial next month. Citing security concerns, prosecutors have asked that jurors names be kept secret.