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Former Sinaloa cartel member disappears from probation weeks after release

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Posted at 1:32 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 16:32:14-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A former Sinaloa cartel member disappeared while under probation just weeks after being released from custody.

Jose Rodrigo Arechiga-Gamboa was sentenced to 87 months in prison and five years of supervised release in December 2019, after being convicted of conspiracy to import cocaine and marijuana, according to court documents. The majority of that sentence had been served after he was arrested in Amsterdam in 2013.

Weeks after being released from custody on March 3, a probation officer found Arechiga-Gamboa was not at his listed residence and that all of his belongings, except for a cell phone, had been removed, documents say.

On or before May 6, "Arechiga-Gamboa changed his place of residence without notifying the probation officer ... Subsequent attempts to reach the offender were unsuccessful and his current whereabouts are unknown," the court documents say.

Arechiga-Gamboa planned to live in Mexico, where he has family, after his release, according to the documents. He could face three to nine months in prison over the parole violation.

Authorities say Arechiga-Gamboa, known as "El Chino Ántrax," attempted to use a fake Mexican passport, underwent plastic surgery, and attempted to alter his fingerprints to try and evade law enforcement before his capture in the Netherlands. He was brought to the U.S. in July 2014 and pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in May 2015, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of California.

Justice Department officials say Arechiga-Gamboa worked for the Sinaloa cartel as a bodyguard and was the leader of an enforcement group called "Los Antrax."