Co-Founder of Sinaloa Cartel Charged in Superseding Indictment with Conspiracy to Manufacture and Distribute Fentanyl

(UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK) — Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia Allegedly Continues to Lead the Sinaloa Cartel From Hiding

A fifth superseding indictment was filed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Ismael Zambada Garcia, also known as “El Mayo,” with conspiring to manufacture and distribute a substance, containing N-phenyl-N-[1-(2-phenylethyl)-4-piperidinyl] propanamide (“fentanyl”), a Schedule II controlled substance intending and knowing that such substances would be unlawfully imported into the United States. Zambada was previously charged in multiple superseding indictments with running a continuing criminal enterprise, as well as murder conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl manufacture and distribution conspiracy, as well as other drug-related crimes, through his continuing leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most violent and powerful drug trafficking organizations in the world. The fifth superseding indictment extends the end-dates of the continuing criminal enterprise and several conspiracies from May 2014 to January 2024. Zambada Garcia remains at large.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Anne Milgram, Administrator, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Ivan J. Arvelo, Acting Assistant Director of Domestic Operations, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); David Sundberg, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington Field Office (FBI); Edward A. Caban, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD); and Steven G. James, Superintendent, New York State Police (NYSP), announced the fifth superseding indictment.

“As alleged, Zambada Garcia is charged with numerous drug offenses, now including the manufacture and distribution of fentanyl, a deadly drug that was largely unheard of when he founded the Sinaloa Cartel more than three decades ago and today is responsible for immeasurable harm,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “While Zambada Garcia continues to be a principal leader of the criminal enterprise responsible for importing enormous quantities of narcotics into the United States, this fifth superseding indictment demonstrates our firm resolve to bring him to justice, just as we did with his former co-conspirator El Chapo, and just as we will continue to do to all those who traffic drugs and seek to profit from the devastation inflicted on our communities.”

Mr. Peace also expressed his thanks to the Justice Department Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section for its assistance on the case.

“Fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat Americans have ever faced, and the Sinaloa Cartel continues to be the largest trafficker of fentanyl into the United States,” stated DEA Administrator Milgram. “With fentanyl the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 45, we must continue to hold Zambada Garcia and other cartel leaders, members, and associates accountable for the people they have killed.”

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