The United States government accuses Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, former Secretary of National Defense, to collaborate between December 2015 and February 2017 with the “H-2” cartel, headed by Juan Francisco Patron Sánchez.
Patron Sánchez, known as “H2” or “El Chico”, was identified by the Mexican government as “head of a criminal organization that operates throughout the country, specifically in the state of Nayarit”. He was the successor to Hector Beltrán Leyva, alias “El H”, when he was arrested on October 1, 2014, in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, reported the newspaper Noroeste.
The alleged criminal was killed on February 9, 2017 in a confrontation with elements of the Navy in the city of Tepic, Nayarit.
In a statement, the Secretary of the Navy reported that the events occurred in the vicinity of the Lindavista neighborhood of Tepic, where the elements were attacked by armed civilians.
According to the official version, a Navy helicopter repelled the aggression with “dissuasive shots” to “reduce the level of aggression and reduce the danger of casualties of civilians and federal forces.” Thanks to the support of the aircraft, the elements on the ground were able to control the situation.
The operation ended in the death of eight alleged criminals, including Juan Francisco Patron.
Antecedents of the “H2” or “H-2” cartel
The following is the background of the criminal organization, according to the accusation against Cienfuegos in the United States: H-2 cartel is a violent organization Mexican drug trafficking organization that was previously led by Juan Francisco Patrón Sánchez, also known as “H-2,” and is based in Nayarit and Sinaloa.
During the relevant time period, the H-2 cartel had numerous distribution cells in the United States, including in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Ohio, Minnesota, North Carolina and New York, through which it distributed thousands of kilograms of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana and made millions of dollars in illegal income. In Mexico, H-2 cartel trafficked in hundreds of lethal firearms and committed countless acts of horrific violence, including torture and murder, to protect themselves from the challenges of rival drug trafficking organizations, fight for territory and silence those who would cooperate with the law.
The H-2 cartel has transported drug shipments and collected drug proceeds from New York City, including areas of Brooklyn. The H-2 cartel has used the corruption of public officials, including bribes to Salvador Cienfuegos while he was a high-ranking Mexican official, as a means and method to achieve the objectives of your drug trafficking business.
In exchange for bribes from other Mexican government officials, the H-2 cartel secured the arrest and torture of rival drug traffickers by Mexican law enforcement, the release of H-2 cartel members from prison, and the capacity of participating in drug trafficking, firearms trafficking and violence, including dozens of murders, without interference from Mexican law enforcement agencies.