- Mexico has handed over “El Ingeniero” to the US for criminal charges, including crimes against health, criminal association, and money laundering.
- “El Ingeniero” was a former legal businessman who played a major role in the CJNG’s drug distribution network in the US.
- “El Cholo Iván” was also extradited to the US for drug trafficking and possession of firearms.
Mexico handed over to the United States Rubén Velázquez Aceves, alias “El Ingeniero,” who is wanted by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California because he is identified as one of the top members of the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG) and close to the leader of the same group, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias El Mencho.
Rubén Velázquez is wanted in the United States for crimes against health, criminal association, and money laundering. The details of his extradition were announced on Monday afternoon, April 3, by the Attorney General’s Office (FGR). El Ingeniero was handed over at Mexico City’s International Airport(AICM).
Who is “El Ingeniero”?
Rubén Velázquez Aceves was born in October 1954 in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Before getting involved in drug trafficking, he was a legal businessman, and his studies went up to the high school level.
The US interest in El Ingeniero derives from the fact that he was one of the main lieutenants of El Mencho, and together with José Alcalá Gaytán, alias El Actitud. He was in charge of a drug distribution network of the CJNG in the United States, specifically in Illinois, New York, and California.
Two DEA undercover agents confirmed his role in moving heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana, and it was in 2016 that US authorities ordered his arrest for criminal association.
In July 2020, El Ingeniero was captured while traveling in a KIA vehicle on Azahares Street in Colonia Bugambilias in Zapopan, Jalisco. After his arrest, he was held in the Federal Center for Social Readaptation (Cefereso) No. 15 in Chiapas.
DEA files refer that an undercover DEA agent, identified as “CS2″, met in 2013 at Rubén Velázquez’s house, where he had an escort of armed men.
In addition, El Ingeniero “participated in the smuggling of drugs from several countries, including Colombia and Panama, passing through Mexican territory for distribution in the United States of America,” the Attorney General’s Office said in an official statement.
In other actions, on March 21, it was reported that El Mencho’s son, Rubén Oseguera González, alias El Menchito, could plead guilty before US authorities. Journalist Alan Feuer reported a “guilty plea” scheduled for April 12 in Washington.
El Menchito was extradited to US territory in February 2020 and faced drug trafficking charges. His first capture occurred in January 2014 in Zapopan, Jalisco. A few months later, in December of the same year, a federal judge decided to release him on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
By June 2015, he was recaptured and accused of laundering illicit money by purchasing and selling farms and being a financial operator for the CJNG.
A man close to “El Chapo” also extradited
Another man extradited to the United States and linked to drug trafficking was Jorge Iván Gastelum, alias El Cholo Iván, who was identified as the head of security for Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias El Chapo.
The actions took place just one day earlier, on Sunday, April 2, due to his alleged responsibility in the crimes of criminal association to distribute drugs and possess a firearm.
This person is also identified as a plaza chief of the Sinaloa Cartel and is wanted by the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia. El Cholo Ivan tried to stop his extradition, as he filed an injunction, which did not prevent his transfer to the United States.