Cartel killer squad leader, Mario Iglesias-Villegas, aka ‘Grim Reaper‘, was sentenced to life in prison by a federal court in Texas last Thursday
The 37-year-old leader of a hitmen squad for El Chapo Guzmán’s Sinaloa Cartel is tied to thousands of murders in Mexican border town of Ciudad Juárez, from 2008 to 2011
Grim Reaper was found guilty conspiring and importing cocaine and marijuana; conspiring to posses firearms in crimes involving drug trafficking
He was also convicted of conspiring to launder money, conspiring to kill in a foreign country and kidnapping
He was was convicted by the federal jury in El Paso on October 22, same as his co-defendant, former Mexican cop Arturo Shows Urquidi, aka Chous
Urquidi was sentenced to life on March 3
The former head of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán’s Sinaloa Cartel assassin squad -who was linked to thousands of murders in northern Mexico over a period spanning just four years – will be spending the rest of his life in a United States prison.
Mario Iglesias-Villegas was sentenced by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas last Thursday.
He is also required to pay a $100,000 fine for his role in the criminal syndicate’s operations.
The 37-year-old, who is also known as the ‘Grim Reaper,’ was convicted by the federal jury in El Paso on October 22.
A federal court in Texas last Thursday sentenced Mario Iglesias-Villegas to life in prison for his role in the Sinaloa Cartel’s operations. The cartel’s co-founder, Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, gave out orders to Iglesias-Villegas, who led a gang of assassins linked to thousands of killings in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, from 2008 to 2011.
He was identified by federal investigators as having a direct role in the killings of thousands of people in the border town of Ciudad Juárez from 2008 to 2011 as the Sinaloa Cartel warred with the Juárez Cartel for control of drug trafficking routes to the United States.
He was later found guilty of a number of offenses, including conspiring to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization statute for his involvement with the Sinaloa Cartel.
He was also convicted of conspiring to possess cocaine and import cocaine and marijuana, as well as another charge for conspiring to launder money.
In addition, he was found guilty of conspiring to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, conspiring to kill in a foreign country and kidnapping.
Iglesias-Villegas joined the transnational drug trafficking organization in 2008 and took orders from Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The killer squad team lead was convicted for his role in the kidnapping and killing of Sergio Saucedo, who was abducted from his home in Horizon City on September 3, 2009.
The cartel blamed Saucedo for the loss of 670 pounds of cocaine, which were confiscated by U.S. Border Patrol agents at a checkpoint. He was found dead several days after his kidnapping in Ciudad Juárez.
Iglesias-Villegas also played a pivotal role in the infamous ‘Wedding party murders’ of May 7, 2010 – The abduction and murders of Rafael-Morales Valencia, Jaime Morales-Valencia and Guadalupe Morales-Arreola.
The trio were kidnapped at gunpoint outside a Ciudad Juárez church, where Rafael-Morales Valencia had gotten married. Their bodies were found four days later in the trunk of an abandoned vehicle.
“Iglesias’ acts of violence allowed the Sinaloa Cartel to control the Juarez drug corridor and successfully import cocaine and marijuana into the United States,” the Department of Justice said in its press release. “The sentencing of Mario Iglesias-Villegas is one more step towards ending violence perpetrated by criminal drug trafficking organizations such as the Sinaloa Cartel,” said Jeffrey R. Downey, the special agent in charge for the FBI’s El Paso Field Office.
Iglesias-Villegas was charged along with Arturo Shows Urquidi, aka “Chous,” a former cop from Juárez, who was sentenced on March 3 to life in prison for his role in aiding the drug trafficking efforts of the Sinaloa Cartel
The former Mexican police officer reported to Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada, who also helped El Chapo establish the criminal organization.
The rogue cop was tasked with setting up security for properties that were used by the cartel to stash thousands of kilos of cocaine that were removed from tanker trucks. The vehicles were also used to transport cash proceeds from drug sales as well as weapons to the Sinaloa capital city of Culiacán.
Federal agents seized hundreds of kilos of cocaine and thousands of pounds of marijuana across the United States during the investigation. Authorities also confiscated millions of dollars in cartel profits that were to be smuggled back into Mexico.