September 30, 2013
The Director of the FBI in San Diego, Daphne Hearn said that Fernando Sanchez Arellano’s criminal organization remains “without teeth,” after one of its lieutenants was found guilty in federal court. The DEA already pronounced
Most consider Tijuana Cartel, AFO, FSO the same TCO. Zeta Weekly described Villarreal as partnered with of the Arellano Felix Cartel in an article,May 28, 2012, describing his charges as, “members and associates of a group known as Fernando Sanchez Organization, or Fernando Sanchez Organization “-identified by the acronym FSO in English, whose members perform, among other things, murder, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, kidnapping , conspiracy to kidnap, attempted robbery with illegal deprivation of liberty, conspiracy to commit theft, attempted theft, importation of controlled substances into the United States from Mexico, conspiracy to import controlled substances into the United States from Mexico, distribution of substances controlled money laundering and conspiracy to launder money … Everything in the Southern District of California, between November 2008 and July 20, 2010 ”
Armando “El Gordo” Villarreal, 35 years old, was the right arm of Sánchez Arellano, “El Ingeniero.” He could receive a sentence of 30 years in prison (previously he faced a life sentence) for leading a criminal organization with international ties (RICO for its acronym in English).
Villarreal agreed in court, to having committed and ordered murders, kidnappings, collecting plaza fees from rival drug traffickers, bribing authorities, intimidating citizens and even journalists, in addition to dealing with large quantities of drugs into the United States.
“El Gordo”, the nephew of one of the famous Arellano Felix brothers, the criminal group that operated in Tijuana and parts of San Diego, in charge of a complex network of communication where corrupt police officers at all levels, passed on privileged information shared with American authorities.
Villarreal Heredia was arrested as part of a federal operation in July 2011, which 42 people, among them police officers municipal and Ministerial, including the former manager of international liaison of the Attorney General of Justice of lower California (PGJE), Jesús Quiñónez, who was sentenced to eight years in prison.
“This admission of guilt, – as well as the other 39 people related to this case-, left the Organization of Fernando Sánchez Arellano stark,” said the District Attorney Laura Duffy, who added that “this case has created a wall of protection around San Diego, preventing the violence caused by this cartel from spreading to other communities on this side of the border.”
So far, 40 of the 42 defendants have pleaded guilty to U.S. authorities, while the rest remain fugitives from justice.
The Director of the FBI in San Diego, Daphne Hearn, said she felt satisfied after the verdict, the result of the cooperation between agencies from both sides of the border.
“This case demonstrates that the DEA and our other partners are dedicated to impart justice, so we will continue to work to banish these violent criminal organizations in our communities,” he added.
Armando Villarreal Heredia is the brother of the Lieutenant Arturo Villarreal Heredia, alias “El Nalgón”, arrested in 2006 along with Francisco Javier “El Tigrillo” Arellano Felix when they traveled in a yacht off the coast of Baja California Sur.
“El Gordo”, who was arrested in Sonora and extradited to the United States, will be sentenced on December 16 before Judge William Hayes in San Diego.