One of Joaquin Guzman’s former employees, ex-Sinaloa cartel member turned informant Tirso Martinez Sanchez, told the court on Monday that Chapo operated a train that took cocaine directly to New York City from Mexico. “Chapo decided who could use the train route,” Sanchez said, according to the New York Post.
Sanchez told jurors he began operating the convoy in 2000, after the former person in charge shot himself in the face. Another person operating the train died during plastic surgery, which is...suspicious.
The cars would move cocaine to NYC after pouring out cooking oil that had come into Mexico as a legitimate business. The cartel would take out the oil and pack kilos of cocaine inside the tankers. They would then add some oil back into the containers and dab it on the packs of cocaine to throw off law enforcement and drug dogs.
Sanchez says the cocaine trains would arrive at a warehouse in New Jersey, and then box trucks would take the drugs to NYC, where men would meet his distributors at fast food stops like McDonald’s or Burger King. “We would tell them what car held the drugs, and hand them over the keys,” he said.
In total, Sanchez testified the cartel made about $500 million to $800 million off its little train operation. He testified to a few other aspects of his career, mostly linked to his huge payload (somewhere between $15 to $20 million) and funneling the money back to Mexico through luxury items.
He eventually “quit” the job after cops raided his cocaine warehouses a few times, but miraculously avoided being murdered (you can’t really “quit” working for the Sinaloa Cartel) up to this point. “They wanted to kill me because I had lost the train route, that means of transport,” he told jurors. “I just didn’t want to keep going.”
This whole scheme reportedly stems from Chapo’s love of trains. He not only operated this obviously illegal locomotive, but created a train to ride around his own personal zoo, the Post points out.
It's hard to imagine a scenario where testimony like this doesn't get Guzman convicted of operating a continuing criminal enterprise. He faces life in prison.