SAN DIEGO - A leader of the Sinaloa Cartel pleaded guilty in San Diego Thursday to federal drug and money laundering charges, admitting that he was responsible for moving tons of cocaine and marijuana and millions of dollars in proceeds across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Jaime Huerta-Tizoc, 41, was charged in an indictment in August of last year. He was arrested Dec. 15 at the San Ysidro Port of Entry as he tried to enter the United States.
"Any day a Sinaloa Cartel leader is no longer free to bring ton quantities of life-crushing drugs to our communities is a good day," said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson. "As long as people are dying from overdoses and lives are being destroyed by illicit drugs, we will pursue the cartels."
In connection with his guilty plea, Huerta-Tizoc admitted that he was a high-level leader of the Sinaloa Cartel and that his primary responsibility was transporting large quantities of drugs on behalf of the cartel for importation from Mexico into the United States.
The defendant used a fleet of tractor-trailers to transport ton-quantity levels of both cocaine and marijuana from Mexico into the United States, including Southern California.
As part of his plea agreement, Huerta-Tizoc agreed to forfeit $2 million in U.S. currency as proceeds of the conspiracy.
Sentencing is scheduled May 12 before U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw.