FORMER SENIOR MEMBER (Tirso Martinez Sanchez) OF SINALOA CARTEL, FACED SENTENCE OF LIFE IN USA PRISON, became super snitch at El Chapo’s NY trial, now expected to be released from prison in 1 year
Tirso Martinez Sanchez
PROFILE: Tirso Martinez-Sanchez
ALIASES: “Jose Tirso,” “Jose Martinez,” “Jose Tirso Hernandez Felix,” “Jose Tirso Felix,” “Manuel Ochoa-Martinez,” “El Doctor,” “El Mechancio,” “El Futbolista,” “El Centenario,” “El Tio,” “Jose Luis Martinez-Sanchez”
DOB: December 9, 1966
POB: Guadalajara, Mexico
WEIGHT: 160 to 180 Pounds
HAIR COLOR: Black
EYE COLOR: Brown
The Tirso Martinez-Sanchez drug trafficking organization (MSO) is an extensive transnational narcotics importation, distribution, and transportation organization that is responsible for distributing multi-tons of cocaine into the United States and Europe. The MSO receives cocaine directly from Colombia and imports the drugs from Mexico through California and Texas overland to large distribution centers in metropolitan United States cities.
The MSO uses a network of large warehouses to store and distribute cocaine in Mexico and the United States. The organization operates a network of front companies to purchase or lease these instrumentalities and to purchase “cover loads” or legitimate goods that are stored and transported with the narcotics to mask the narcotics shipment. The MSO transports cocaine through ocean vessels, tractor-trailers, and railroad tanker cars. It is believed that between 2000 and 2003, the MSO’s railroad network imported, transported, and distributed approximately 76 metric tons of cocaine into the United States.
Tirso Martinez-Sanchez is the leader of the MSO and is believed to also act as an importer, transporter, and distributor for other large narcotics traffickers, such as the Juarez cartel, members of the Federation, and Colombian traffickers Victor and Miguel Mejia-Munera. Martinez-Sanchez is responsible for organizing the laundering and remittance of millions of dollars drug proceeds back to Mexico. Martinez-Sanchez is indicted out of the Eastern District of New York.
The U.S. Department of State is currently offering a REWARD OF UP TO $5 MILLION for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of TIRSO MARTINEZ-SANCHEZ.
Sinaloa Cartel snitch who ran El Chapo’s cocaine train network gets light sentence
Snitches get stitches — or sweetheart prison sentences.
The Sinaloa Cartel’s former “director of transportation” turned government witness against Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman dodged a possible life sentence on Thursday — and may do as little as one year behind bars for cocaine trafficking.
Tirso Martinez Sanchez got the soft sentence from Brooklyn federal Judge Brian Cogan, who noted that the snitch risked his life to give US authorities crucial intel on one of the world’s most bloodthirsty drug cartels.
“He gave it everything he had and he had extremely valuable information … in addition to the risk that he undertook,” Cogan said. “Of course I have to recognize, at the same time, that one of the reasons his value was so high was that his position in the organization was so high.”
Cogan gave the Sinaloa’s former “Train Daddy” a nine-year sentence — minus six years’ time served in US and Mexican prisons.
Cogan said the US Bureau of Prisons may also decide that Martinez should get two additional years of credit for time he served behind bars in Mexico — which would mean he would only do one more year of hard time.
Last week, Cogan also green-lit a bid by federal prosecutors to seize $2 million worth of Martinez’s assets.
Cogan handed down the sentence after hearing Martinez beg for mercy through a Spanish translator.
“Believe me, my remorse is sincere,” Martinez said. “So much so that years ago I … changed my life.”
From 2000 to 2003, Martinez, known as “El Futbolista” for his love of the sport, served as the Sinaloa Cartel’s “director of transportation” his lawyer said at the sentencing on Thursday.
The job included managing a cocaine train between Mexico and New York City that netted between $500 million and $800 million during that period.
Martinez’s took the position after a predecessor fatally shot himself in the face and another died on an operating table while receiving plastic surgery, Martinez told jurors when he took the stand in December 2018 against Guzman.
The cartel moved massive amounts of cocaine by train, using cooking oil to conceal their merchandise from authorities, Martinez testified.
El Chapo had a noted love for trains — jurors learned during the kingpin’s trial that he had a private zoo that he toured with a tiny locomotive. Guzman was sentenced last year to life in prison plus 30 years.
Martinez told jurors that he made somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 million and $20 million with the cartel.
But after his daughter was born in 2003, Martinez became “dismayed and horrified” by the cartel’s violent ways, Peter Quijano, Martinez’s lawyer, said.
In 2008, Martinez kicked his “serious cocaine habit” and stayed clean in the following years — though he remained “addicted to cockfighting,” Quijano said to Cogan.
“I don’t think that is a federal crime,” Quijano said.
“Actually I think it is,” Cogan replied.
Martinez eventually ghosted on the cartel and was extradited to Brooklyn in 2014. He pleaded guilty to importation and distribution charges that carry a possible life sentence under federal guidelines.
Quijano declined to comment on the sentence.
BACKGROUND: Cartel Leader Extradited From Mexico To The Eastern District Of New York To Face International Cocaine Trafficking Charges
Later today, Tirso Martinez-Sanchez will be arraigned at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, on charges that he was the head of an international drug cartel that imported tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the United States from Mexico. Martinez-Sanchez was arrested in Mexico on February 2, 2014, based on a provisional arrest warrant issued from the Eastern District of New York. He was extradited from Mexico to the United States on December 17, 2015.
The charges were announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and Acting Special Agent in Charge, Glenn Sorge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York.
As alleged in the indictment and other court documents, Martinez-Sanchez was the leader of an extensive transnational narcotics importation, distribution, and transportation organization that is responsible for the importation and distribution of tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine. In particular, the organization obtained multi-ton shipments of cocaine from Colombian sources of supply. Martinez-Sanchez then organized the importation of that cocaine from outside of the United States, into the United States, by using an elaborate transportation network of trains, tractor trailers, and other vehicles. Once the cocaine was in the United States, Martinez-Sanchez directed organization members to transport the cocaine overland to large distribution centers, including some areas located in the Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago metropolitan areas. Martinez-Sanchez directed organization members to coordinate the logistics of storing the cocaine in the organization’s stash warehouses and transporting the cocaine to the organization’s distributors and customers throughout New York and elsewhere in the United States, including California and Illinois.
The investigation further revealed that Martinez-Sanchez used a network of large warehouses to store and distribute the cocaine in the United States. Martinez-Sanchez directed members of the organization to establish and maintain numerous front companies to purchase or lease these stash warehouses and vehicles to transport cocaine, and to purchase “cover loads,” or legitimate goods that were stored and transported with the cocaine to mask the cocaine shipment.
Martinez-Sanchez also oversaw the collection of the organization’s proceeds from the sale of cocaine in the United States. After the cocaine was sold, the proceeds were collected and stored in the organization’s stash warehouses. At Martinez-Sanchez’s direction, the organization’s couriers smuggled some of the drug proceeds to organization members outside of the United States using the same transportation network of tractor trailers and trains that had been used to smuggle the cocaine into the United States. The investigation further revealed that Martinez-Sanchez invested a considerable amount of narcotics proceeds in money laundering ventures, such as the purchase of professional soccer teams, and a chain of high-end clothing boutiques. Martinez-Sanchez also invested the narcotics proceeds back into the instrumentalities of the organization itself, such as purchasing or leasing stash warehouses, vehicles, and front businesses.
Martinez-Sanchez had been designated a Consolidated Priority Organization Target or CPOT by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). In addition to coordinating the distribution of his own organization’s cocaine, Martinez-Sanchez also transported and distributed narcotics for members of other Mexican Drug Cartels, including the Sinaloa Cartel, led by CPOTs Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and Ismael “Mayo” Zambada; the Juarez Cartel, led by CPOT Vicente Carillo-Fuentes and the Beltran-Leyva Cartel, led by brothers Arturo, Hector and Alfredo Beltran-Leyva.
During the course of the investigation, law enforcement agents seized approximately 500 kilograms of cocaine from a residence in Deer Park, New York; approximately 2,000 kilograms of cocaine from a warehouse in Brooklyn, New York; approximately 2,000 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside a railroad car in Queens, New York; approximately 1,100 kilograms of cocaine from a warehouse in El Paso, Texas; and approximately 1,900 kilograms of cocaine from a warehouse in Chicago, Illinois.
“The charges announced today reflect our ongoing efforts to target and dismantle the largest drug trafficking organizations in the world, whose multi-billion dollar criminal networks funnel drugs onto our streets and spread violence into our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Capers. “We will continue to work together with our law enforcement partners in Mexico to root out the leaders of these insidious cartels wherever they may be found and bring them to justice.” Mr. Capers extended his grateful appreciation to the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York Office, the agency responsible for leading the investigation, and to the invaluable assistance provided by the HSI Mexico Country Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, the DEA Mexico Country Office and the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs.
“This is yet another example of HSI and its partners relentlessly pursuing and dismantling drug trafficking organizations from top to bottom,” said Glenn Sorge, acting special agent in charge HSI New York. “This team of agents and prosecutors are committed to stopping the flow of prohibited drugs into the United States, and accomplishing one of HSI’s priorities to ensure public safety.”
The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Steven L. Tiscione and Erik D. Paulsen are in charge of the prosecution.
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 04-CR-874 (ERK)
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