U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Hampshire
(603) 225-1552
August 28, 2015

Sinaloa Cartel Member Sentenced to 16 Years in Federal Prison for Cocaine Drug Conspiracy

CONCORD, NH—Acting United States Attorney Donald Feith announced today that Jesus Manuel Gutierrez Guzman, 54, of Culiacan, Mexico was sentenced today to 16 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. Gutierrez Guzman pleaded guilty to the charge on October 2, 2014.

A grand jury for the District of New Hampshire originally charged Gutierrez Guzman and seven co-conspirators including Joaquin Guzman-Loera, a/k/a “Chapo” with the drug conspiracy in June 2011. A grand jury returned a superseding indictment in July 2012, shortly before Gutierrez Guzman’s arrest in Spain on August 7, 2012 after he and conspirators Samuel Zazueta Valenzuela, Jesus Gonzalo Palazuelo Soto, and Rafael Humberto Celaya Valenzuela arrived there to monitor the delivery of 346 kilograms of cocaine to Algeciras, Spain. The cocaine was delivered to a European port for eventual redistribution in Europe and the United States. The delivery resulted from negotiations between members of the Sinaloa Cartel led by Chapo and undercover agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation posing as members of an organized crime syndicate. Gutierrez Guzman was Chapo’s representative in the negotiations that began in 2009 in Mexico and culminated in the delivery of 346 kilograms of cocaine to the FBI in 2012. During the period of the negotiations there were numerous meetings with members of the conspiracy in the United States, including an April 2011 meeting in New Castle, New Hampshire, and a March 2011 meeting in Madrid, Spain to finalize the terms of the first delivery. During this time, three “test” deliveries of fruit were made to provide assurance to the conspirators that they were not dealing with law enforcement. The success of the test deliveries led to the ultimate delivery of the cocaine.

“This case illustrates that drug cartels based in foreign countries will go anywhere to distribute their deadly products,” stated Acting United States Attorney Donald Feith. “Mr. Gutierrez Guzman served as a representative of one of the world’s wealthiest and deadliest drug organizations. I commend the FBI for its dedication to this long term investigation and its determination to bring these individuals to justice.”

Gutierrez Guzman was also fined $10,000. He will be deported to Mexico upon his release.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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