MEXICO CITY — A former top enforcer for Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel who spent time in a U.S. prison has been identified as one of three people found murdered in Sinaloa state over the weekend, officials said Monday.
The Sinaloa state prosecutors’ office identified the dead man as José Rodrigo “A,” giving only his last initial in line with Mexican law. But officials confirmed it was Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa, who built an exuberant and deadly reputation under his nickname, “El Chino Antrax.”
The bodies of Arechiga Gamboa, a woman believed to be his sister, and another man were found wrapped in blankets in a luxury SUV on the outskirts of Culiacan, the state capital, on Saturday. Relatives later identified the body.
Arechiga Gamboa was known for exuberant social media posts purporting to show him posing with expensive clothes, jewelry and luxury cars.
Prosecutors said he had violated probation in the United States, and that U.S. consular officials were called to help in the case.
In 2015, Arechiga Gamboa pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to helping bring tons of cocaine and marijuana to the United States from Mexico and ordered and participated in violence against cartel rivals. He said in a plea agreement with prosecutors that he was a high-ranking member “responsible for a number of aspects of the cartel’s operations.”
He was sentenced in the United States for conspiracy to import a controlled substance, but was reportedly released on probation in March. He then apparently fled to Mexico.
He was arrested in December 2013 at Amsterdam’s airport after a flight from Mexico City, less than two months before the cartel’s top leader, Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman, was captured in Mexico. Arechiga Gamboa was later extradited from the Netherlands.
in 2015, Laura Duffy, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, said “Chino Antrax is one of the highest-ranking Sinaloa cartel kingpins ever prosecuted in the United States.” He was associated with Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, who continues to run the Sinaloa cartel.
The Associated Press