Pubdate: Thu, 22 Jun 2017
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2017 The Washington Post Company


SAN DIEGO -- A former Mexican lawmaker arrested at the California
border was charged Thursday with working for the Sinaloa drug cartel,
whose once-powerful kingpin, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was extradited
to the United States in January.

Lucero Guadalupe Sanchez, a former representative in the Sinaloa state
legislature, was charged Thursday in federal court in San Diego with
conspiracy to distribute 11 pounds (five kilograms) of cocaine in the
United States between January 2013 and January 2017.

She was arrested Wednesday morning trying to enter San Diego from
Tijuana, Mexico, according to court documents. A Customs and Border
Patrol agent at the border crossing discovered her visa had been
cancelled by the U.S. State Department and she was suspected of drug

The Office of the U.S. Attorney Southern District of California did
not immediately respond to messages asking if Sanchez has a lawyer.

The complaint alleges that during a 2012 Homeland Security
investigation into the Sinaloa drug cartel, Sanchez was identified as
being involved in helping traffic drugs and launder proceeds for Guzman.

Investigators in court documents say she also has been identified as
Guzman's girlfriend by a person cooperating with the

Guzman is being held in prison in New York and is scheduled to go on
trial in April 2018 on charges he oversaw a multibillion-dollar
international drug trafficking organization responsible for murders
and kidnappings. He has pleaded not guilty. His wife, a former beauty
queen, has attended his court proceedings.

Guzman was extradited to the United States after escaping twice from
prison in Mexico, including once through a mile-long tunnel stretching
from the shower in his cell.
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