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13 May, 2021 01:35

US lifts sanctions against Sinaloa drug cartel operative, after he showed ‘change in behavior’ & testified against El Chapo

US lifts sanctions against Sinaloa drug cartel operative, after he showed ‘change in behavior’ & testified against El Chapo

A lieutenant of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, who vanished after testifying against his boss Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, has been taken off the US sanctions list due to “change in behavior,” the Treasury Department said.

Jesus Reynaldo Zambada Garcia, 60, also known as “El Rey” (The King) was removed from the Kingpin Act blacklist on Wednesday. He had demonstrated “a change in behavior and circumstances” according to a Treasury spokesman, meaning that the “primary goal” of the sanctions had been achieved.

Zambada was arrested in Mexico City in 2008 and extradited to the US in 2012. He testified against Guzman in 2018. His current whereabouts are unknown. Reuters quoted an anonymous US law enforcement official as saying his whereabouts and legal status were “not public,” and the US Bureau of Prisons has previously said Zambada was not in their custody, fueling speculation he was living under an alias somewhere, as part of the witness protection program.

His brother Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada is currently the head of the Sinaloa Cartel and is on the DEA’s wanted list.

Also on rt.com Beauty queen wife of drug lord El Chapo ARRESTED in Virginia on drug trafficking charges, accused of planning TWO prison escapes

Both brothers previously worked for Guzman, a notorious drug lord who escaped from Mexican maximum-security prisons on two occasions. He was finally captured in 2016 and extradited to the US, where he faced charges of trafficking cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine. Known as “El Chapo” (Shortie) due to his diminutive height, he was convicted in 2019 and sentenced to life in prison.

Guzman’s wife Emma Coronel Aispuro was arrested in February in the US and charged with helping her husband’s daring 2015 escape from Mexican prison, using a 1.5km-long tunnel.

Also on rt.com Mexican security forces flee after cartel gunmen launch WAR to release El Chapo’s son at drug lord’s bastion Culiacan (GRAPHIC)

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