Felipe Cabrera Sarabia, known by his alias “El Inge,” made an emotional appeal to the US government, pleading for mercy and citing his devotion to his community. Despite his pleas, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison for his role as a key operator of the Sinaloa Cartel during Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s reign.
“Inge’s” conviction followed his guilty plea on January 20, where he confessed to his involvement in trafficking cocaine and heroin into the US.
Not only was Cabrera Sarabia a trusted lieutenant of “El Chapo,” but he also held significant authority within the cartel, overseeing operations in Durango and Chihuahua. His aliases included “El Rey de la Heroína” and “El Señor de la Sierra,” and he served as “Chapo’s” chief bodyguard.
Cabrera Sarabia, along with his brothers Luis Alberto, Jose Luis, and Alejandro, founded the Cabrera Sarabia cell, an armed wing instrumental in cementing the Sinaloa Cartel’s foothold in Durango and other areas of the Golden Triangle.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois filed an indictment accusing “El Inge” of participating in the large-scale trafficking of cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin from May 2005 to December 2008. The investigations conducted by the US in response to the influx of narcotics resulted in the confiscation of 11 tons of cocaine, 265 kilograms of methamphetamine, and 78 kilograms of heroin.
Felipe Cabrera Sarabia was apprehended on December 26, 2011, on charges of cultivating and producing marijuana in Durango. He was also implicated in the surge of violence in the region, characterized by clandestine burials, kidnappings, extortion, and arson of businesses and homes.
On the same topic:
- Meet Juan José Ponce Félix, AKA El Ruso, the elusive figure in the internal Sinaloa Cartel dispute
- How El Marro, Santa Rosa de Lima cartel leader, dodged an arrest operation two years before his actual capture
- Ana Gabriela Rubio Zea faces extradition for her role in the ‘Los Chapitos’ drug trafficking network
The escalating wave of atrocities across the Durango-Chihuahua border was attributed to a power struggle between “El Inge” and Mario Núñez Meza, known as “El M-10″, a former municipal police officer who evolved into one of “Chapo” Guzmán’s most ruthless associates.
Cabrera Sarabia remained in Mexican custody until June 16, 2020, when he was extradited to the US. Initially, he denied the charges leveled against him by the judicial authorities. It wasn’t until 2023 that he finally admitted to his criminal past.
During the sentencing hearing, which took place on July 25 at the Everett M. Dirksen Courthouse in Chicago, “Inge’s” legal defense sought leniency from Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman. They argued that the defendant had been a “pillar of support” in the rural community of Vascogil, Durango, contributing to cattle purchasing, distribution of drinking water, and employing engineers to construct roads connecting the towns.
Despite these seemingly charitable acts, Judge Coleman remained unmoved, emphasizing the irreversible harm he inflicted on the U.S. populace. “My community has been decimated,” she declared in response to the defense’s testimony.
In the end, Coleman imposed a 19-year prison sentence. She expressed regret for Cabrera Sarabia’s family, who would suffer from his absence, yet reiterated that “that is the price” of drug trafficking.