In a recent update from the US Department of Justice, Víctor Hugo Hinojosa Elizondo, a prominent figure in the world of synthetic drug distribution, was handed a 12-year prison sentence in the United States. The charge? Conspiring to distribute methamphetamine while serving in a significant role for a Sinaloa-based drug trafficking entity, the specifics of which remain undisclosed by the authorities.
Often known by another name, Margoro Hinojosa, the 55-year-old’s influence was particularly felt in cities such as Los Angeles, California; Providence, Rhode Island; and Norfolk. Court records indicate that between 2016 and 2018, Hinojosa spearheaded the shipment of over 40 pounds (around 18 kilograms) of high-grade Mexican methamphetamine to the US.
“Margoro Hinojosa was responsible for manufacturing, importing, and distributing” vast amounts of this pure methamphetamine, a statement read. His operations, deeply rooted in Sinaloa, depended heavily on “mules”—individuals responsible for transporting drugs across borders.
Extradition and Legal Proceedings
Hinojosa’s operations came to a halt with his arrest in Mexico the previous year. Following this, he was extradited to the US in December 2022. Ricardo Mejía Berdeja, the then Undersecretary of Public Security, noted that the Federal District Court sought after Víctor Hugo for the Eastern District of Virginia. The charges? Criminal association and crimes against health.
But Hinojosa wasn’t the only one facing the music. Alongside him, 47-year-old Luis Enrique Soto Ferro was extradited and subsequently sentenced to 15 years in a Norfolk prison last July for similar methamphetamine distribution charges.
Moreover, the Norfolk District Court didn’t stop there. “Two other members of the organization, Irana Carmago Lugue, 38, and Jorge Alberto Perez Miramontes, 41, were sentenced to 10 and 11 years respectively,” the Justice Department revealed.
The Bigger Picture: Sinaloa Cartel’s Reach
While the specific criminal group Hinojosa was affiliated with remains a mystery, there’s no overlooking the dominant presence of the Sinaloa Cartel in the methamphetamine trafficking scene in Sinaloa. Today, this cartel isn’t just confined to Mexico; it has broadened its horizons, becoming a pivotal player in smuggling fentanyl into the US.
In the continued effort to combat this drug epidemic, US authorities have their sights set on the cartel’s top brass. Notably among them is Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, son of the infamous Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. Guzmán Salazar, alongside his siblings, leads the notorious “Los Chapitos” or “Los Menores” faction, further solidifying the Sinaloa Cartel’s stronghold in the world of illicit drugs.