Mexico is extraditing the 68-year-old drug king to the United States after laundering money for El Chapo for decades.
- Raúl Flores was extradited to the United States for drug trafficking, the Mexican attorney general said on Sunday
- Flores has been held in custody by the Mexican judicial system since his arrest in July 2017
- Local outlets report that Flores had ties to the Sinaloa Cartel, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and the Golf Cartel, among others
- He reportedly traded cocaine for Mexican cartel from 1980 to March 2017
- The Mexican news agency Milenio reported that Flores had reportedly laundered money for three cartels in Mexico
- Mexican soccer star Rafael Marquéz and singer Julion Álvarez were linked to Flores in 2017 as part of an investigation by the U.S. Treasury Department
Mexico extradited to the US a drug trafficker who worked with El Chapo for decades.
Raúl Flores was turned over to federal American agents at Mexico’s Toluca International Airport nearly four years after his arrest.
Flores, known as “El Tio” or “The Uncle”, entered the drug trade in 1980.
The 68-year-old reportedly had close ties with the Sinaloa Cartel, formerly run by Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Golf Cartel, among others.
He helped launder money for the Sinaloa and Jalisco factions as well as for the Beltrán-Leyva organization.
Flores’ drug ring was even linked to celebrities such as Mexican singer Julion Álvarez and Rafael Marquéz, the former captain of Mexico’s national soccer team.
Raúl Flores has been extradited to the United States, the Mexican attorney general said on Sunday. Flores reportedly traded cocaine and laundered money for several competing drug cartels during his 37 years in the drug trade. He reportedly maintained close ties with Colombian cocaine producers and owned several trade routes between Mexico and the United States.
Everything collapsed for him in March 2017 when the Mexican authorities were in the final stages of an 11-year investigation into his business, according to court files from the Mexican news agency Milenio.
He was arrested in July 2017 by Mexican security forces in Zapopan, a city in the western Mexican state of Jalisco. However, his arrest was kept secret by Mexico’s Attorney General for nearly a month before the United States sanctioned him under the Kingpin Act.
In August 2017, the US Treasury Department sanctioned the then captain of the Mexican national soccer team, Rafael Marquéz, as well as 21 other people and 43 companies for being tied to Flores.
The Treasury Department said Marquéz, a former Barcelona defender, had a “long-standing relationship” with Flores and acted as a “front man” for him and held assets on behalf of his cartel.
Marquéz immediately denied the allegations, but Mike Vigil, the former chief of international operations for the US Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA]Then he said it was impossible for the soccer star not to have known who Flores was because he had been in the drug trade for a long time.
Rafael Marquéz, the former captain of Mexico’s national soccer team, was among 22 people and 43 companies sanctioned by the US Treasury Department for alleged role as “front man” Raúl Flores, a Mexican drug trafficker who had ties to several rival, in August 2017 Cartels. The picture here shows him during the 2017 Confederations Cup semi-final match against Germany in Sochi
Julion Álvarez, pictured at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles during his performance at the 2012 Billboard Mexican Music Awards, was among 22 people sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in August 2017 for alleged links to Raúl Flores, a drug trafficker
Raúl Flores went quietly, trading cocaine for the Sinaloa Cartel, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, the Gulf Cartel, and other rival criminal organizations in Mexico
“He’s extremely adept at strategizing and navigating cartels,” Vigil said of Flores.
Mexican singer Julion Álvarez was also among those sanctioned under the Kingpin Act – which freezes all US assets of said people and organizations and prohibits US citizens from doing business with them.
Julion Álvarez claimed that his only relationship with Flores was due to the encounters they had in a place for which he had been hired.