”Ivan” for Borderland Beat
Víctor Manuel Félix Félix was deported to Mexico to face charges related to money laundering and criminal association.
They had been trying to catch him for years. Undercover DEA agents had even infiltrated his criminal cell in an effort to get their hands on Chapo Guzman’s father-in-law, Victor Manuel Felix Felix Felix, alias “El Señor,” and document how he came to traffic cocaine into the United States valued at more than $76,275,000, an amount that represents more than double the 2023 budget for the entire state of Sinaloa.
According to unofficial sources, the drug trafficker was once compared to Ismael El Mayo Zambada, and was as sought after as Rafael Caro Quintero or Joaquin Guzman Loera himself, but unlike them, he kept a low profile. Only the DEA knew who he was.
Eventually, in 2011, he was caught and held in a maximum security prison in the State of Mexico, and it wasn’t until 2017 that Felix Felix was extradited to the United States where he would face charges of drug trafficking, money laundering and racketeering in a federal court in the Southern District of California, where “the full weight of the law would be applied to him.”
Six years after his extradition, and after a series of negotiations between his defense and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, El Señor bought his freedom for one million dollars, according to court documents to which this weekly newspaper had access.
The price on the head of the father-in-law of one of Chapo’s sons, and everything that the United States had demonized him for, was left behind. Also forgotten was the old plan to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law, since he would have trafficked enough cocaine to drug the entire United States and laundered billions of dollars for organized crime.
In the end, Judge Marilyn L. Huff, considered that the six years Felix Felix Felix spent in prison along with the million dollars he paid to his country, in addition to his repentance for his actions, were enough to cover the moral damage caused to the citizens of his country.
El Señor, who also identified himself as Raul Castro Rodriguez and in the criminal world he was codenamed “69″, had served his sentence, and since he had already paid the million dollars he had promised to give to the United States, at least to that country, he no longer owed anything.
According to file 11-cr-01926, filed in the Southern District of California, Felix Felix had outstanding accounts with the United States that were difficult to settle, which is why, at the time he was identified by the DEA, there was talk that once he was brought to justice in that country he would face at least life imprisonment.
The file, the product of a years-long investigation conducted by the DEA and the FBI, and with intelligence information from the Mexican government, exposed him as a capo who was at the head of a group that was not accountable to any faction of the Sinaloa Cartel, and the reason why he had grown so much was thanks to his ability to move drugs and launder money for people who worked for powerful capos in Tamaulipas, Jalisco, Michoacán, Guerrero and Sinaloa.
His main activity, however, was trafficking cocaine to the United States, so the DEA launched an undercover operation to infiltrate its agents and have them pretend to be “traffickers” capable of moving large quantities of cocaine from South America to Central America and then to Mexico, and then trafficking it to the United States and other countries.
“Thanks to strong infiltration work, Felix Felix was reached, and he was proposed to move large quantities of drugs in a secure manner, but also to move millions of dollars in physical to several countries, including the United States and Canada, and that made it easier for undercover agents to get into his organization,” reads the dossier.
Paragraph A, located between page 10 and 11 of the dossier, adds: The 29 defendants, led by Felix Felix and Luis Roberto Garcia Fierro, then agreed, among themselves and with known and unknown persons, to commit crimes against the United States since at least March 18, 2011, and included moving large amounts of money to finance their criminal operations.
Once DEA agents began conducting financial transactions with the Lord’s group, the agents became involved in drug trafficking, and thus began operations to move physical money in the United States and other countries on behalf of the drug traffickers, which was used to purchase drugs in Colombia.
The network of drug traffickers and money launderers moved between Mexico, Colombia, Panama, and the United States, and included services to move money through the undercover agent, who by then had gained the trust of the Lord, as he was entrusted with up to 300 million dollars to move it from country to country by air and in cash.
“In November 2009, another of the accused called the undercover DEA agent to ask him to move 10 million dollars from New York City to Mexico City, and that is how the case against Felix Felix and his organization was completed,” reads the file.
The rest of the file is full of dates and other transactions for several million dollars in which the undercover agent continued documenting how Felix Felix and his criminal organization moved money as part of their criminal activities to move cocaine from Colombia to Mexico and the US, but also how the organization trafficked hundreds of kilos of cocaine to the United States.
In total, the document states, the group led by Felix Felix laundered more than 13 million 770 thousand dollars in physical goods between different countries, in addition to illicit drugs that on the black market would have a value of more than 76 million 275 thousand dollars during at least seven years of criminal activities.
According to UN analysis, the cocaine trafficked to the US by El Señor would have been enough to drug all US citizens.
For the US government, 1 million dollars and six years in prison, and Mr. Felix Felix’s repentance, was enough to obtain his freedom, and just last March 28, Felix Felix was handed over to the Department of Provisional Release, so that the US Marshals could supervise his eventual release, which came last May 16, when he was handed over to agents of the Attorney General’s Office, at the San Ysidro border in Tijuana, so that they could take care of him, because in the US, the accused no longer owed anything.
Back in the shadows
Felix Felix, back in the shadows, was transferred in a plane from the Tijuana prosecutor’s office to the city of Durango, and was subsequently detained in the 14th Social Rehabilitation Center, where he will face charges related to money laundering and criminal association.
According to media reports, after the arrest of Mr. Félix Beltrán, who is the father of one of Chapo’s daughters-in-law, his son, identified as Víctor Manuel Félix Beltrán, took charge of the group. The Attorney General’s Office, as of press time, had neither confirmed nor denied that this had been the case.
Article published on May 21, 2023 in the 1060th edition of the weekly Ríodoce.
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