DEA launched Project Python to dismantle the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación

In 2015, the drug cartel gained notoriety when it shot down an army helicopter in Jalisco

DEA launched Project Python to dismantle the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación, a brutal cartel based in Mexico
English 11/03/2020 15:59 EL UNIVERSAL in English/Gretel Morales Mexico City Actualizada 16:18

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On March 11, the U.S. Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) the results of Project Python, a DEA-led multilateral inter-agency operation encompassing all global investigations and related disruption activities targeting the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG).

This announcement marks the end of six months of investigative and enforcement activity targeting CJNG, culminating in large scale arrests throughout the U.S. in the past week. Project Python has resulted in the arrests of over 500 CJNG associates, 350 indictments, as well as seizures of money and drugs.

“Project Python is the single largest strike by U.S. authorities against CJNG, and this is just the beginning,” said Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “This strategic and coordinated project exemplifies DEA’s mission: to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy drug trafficking organizations around the world and bring their leaders to justice. Today, DEA has disrupted CJNG’s operations, and there is more to come as DEA continues its relentless attack on this remorseless criminal organization.”

Project Python marks the most comprehensive action to date in the Department of Justice’s campaign to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately destroy CJNG,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Criminal Division. “When President Trump signed an Executive Order prioritizing the dismantlement of transnational criminal organizations, the Department of Justice answered the call and took direct aim at CJNG. We deemed CJNG one of the highest-priority transnational organized crime threats we face. And with Project Python, we are delivering results in the face of that threat for the American people.”

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“The arrests made as a result of Project Python were part of heavily coordinated operation targeting elements of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) in South, Central, and East Texas. The CJNG is a violent drug trafficking organization responsible for the importation of ton quantities of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine across the United States,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Steven S. Whipple.

The CJNG is one of the fastest-growing transnational criminal organizations in Mexico and is among the most prolific meth producers in the world. It is also responsible for a significant proportion of drugs entering the U.S., and increasing levels of violence in Mexico.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Treasury has designated "El Mencho" as a “specially designated narcotics trafficker” pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, and the U.S. Department of State has issued one of the largest narcotics rewards ever, $10 million, for information leading to the arrest of “El Mencho.”

CJNG, one of the most infamous drug cartels in Mexico

The CJNG was originally known as the Zeta Killers and first appeared in 2011, with the display of the bodies of 35 alleged members of Los Zetas. Although the criminal organization is based in Jalisco, it also operates in Colima, Michoacán, the state of Mexico, Guerrero, and Guanajuato.

The Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación allegedly served as an armed group for the Sinaloa Cartel until 2013.

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In 2015, the Mexican government declared CJNG one of the most dangerous cartels in the country. In October 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury described the group as one of the world’s “most prolific and violent drug trafficking organizations.”

According to some analysts, the CJNG has operations throughout the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

Moreover, the brutal Mexican cartel has been linked to several mass graves in southwestern Mexico and shot down an army helicopter in 2015.

Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, “El Mencho”

The DEA, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, labeled Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, better known as “El Mencho,” as the most wanted man, even before cartel leaders with a long history such as Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada and Rafael Caro Quintero.

“El Mencho,” who hails from Michoacán, is followed by Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar,”El Chapo” Guzmán’s son; Rafael Caro Quintero, and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Yesterday, the DEA placed billboards all over Los Angeles, California, offering a USD $10 million reward in exchange for information that leads to the arrest of Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes.

In 2018, the drug trafficker was the third most wanted criminal by the DEA.

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In recent months, the drug lord’s inner circle was severely weakened after his son was extradited to the U.S. and the arrest of Jessica Johanna Oseguera Gonzalez, “La Negra.” According to authorities, they were the criminal’s main financial operators.

According to the DEA, the drug trafficker has created a clandestine safety zone in the mountainous areas in Jalisco, Michoacán, and Colima. The criminal does not set foot in major cities or restaurants and lives in the mountains. This strategy is common among cartel leaders.

Although “El Mencho” joined crime in the 90s, he became an infamous cartel leader in the last 5 years and it’s now the most wanted man by the DEA

In 1994, the infamous cartel leader was sentenced to 3 years in prison for heroin trafficking in the U.S. He was later deported to Mexico, worked as a police officer in Jalisco, and then joined the now-defunct Milenio Cártel. When the cartel leader, Ignacio Coronel “El Rey del Cristal,” was murdered in 2010, the CJNG was created.

During the Peña Nieto administration, authorities spent over MXN $5 million a day to arrest “El Mencho.”

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