A man considered one of the chief aides to convicted drug boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman pleaded guilty on Friday, January 27th, in Chicago federal court to distributing more than 150 kilograms of cocaine and more than 30 kilograms of heroin.
Felipe Cabrera Sarabia, 51, known as “The Engineer,” faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a possible life sentence.
During a hearing before U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, Sarabia said through an interpreter that he had “always made a living as a cattle rancher,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Sarabia was extradited to face charges in June 2020. His sentencing is set for July 7.
He was originally charged along with Guzman and others in a sweeping 2009 indictment in Chicago. Guzman wound up being prosecuted in New York and is now serving a life prison sentence.
Sarabia’s guilty plea comes just days after Mexico’s president said that he would consider a request by Guzman to return from the United States to complete his sentence on humanitarian grounds. The message from El Chapo was described as an “SOS” by one of his attorneys.
The Sinaloa cartel founder has appealed to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for help due to alleged “psychological torment” that Guzman says he is suffering in a U.S. prison.
“We’re going to review it (the plea),” Lopez Obrador told reporters.
It was unclear if Mexico had the power to grant the request, “but the door must always be left open when it comes to human rights,” he concluded.
Source: El PAIS