“El Chepa”: who is the operator of Los Cuinis and brother-in-law of “Mencho” who will be extradited from Brazil to the US

El Chepa, brother-in-law of the CJNG leader and member of Los Cuinis, will be extradited from Brazil to the US on drug trafficking charges (Photo: DIVULGAÇÃO)

On December 22, 2017 luck left him. José González Valencia, the Chepa, was arrested in Brazil, while waiting for his family at the exit of a hotel in Fortaleza (in the north of the nation). Until then it was known as Jafet Arias Becerra, a Bolivian who was traveling to the South American country for the third time.

But that guy, who appeared to be a common tourist, was already very famous in Mexico under the aliases The Chepa, Shrimp y/o Santy. According to the authorities, he ran the financial sector of Los Cuinis – armed arm of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel-. González Valencia commanded operations and payments from the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in Bolivia and was responsible for the security of Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, the Mencho, his brother-in-law and founder of the CJNG.

The police have followed closely in his footsteps since 2009, when the Valencia family, originally from Michoacán in Mexico, founded the criminal group Los Cuinis. In 2015, after the arrest of his brother Abigael González, fled to Bolivia.

In that country of President Luis Arce Catacora (Bolivia), the Chepa he lived like a middle-class citizen without much luxury or ostentation. In your home nation; however, he was a cacique respected by all.

After his arrest in Fortaleza, his fate was in the hands of the Supreme Federal Court, which last Wednesday November 10 handed over the Mexican drug lord to the United States.

In the North American country he faces international drug trafficking charges. This Thursday, the Chepa appeared for the first time at the Superior Court of Washington.

The companies linked to the CJNG and Los Cuinis (Photo: treasury.gov)
The companies linked to the CJNG and Los Cuinis (Photo: treasury.gov)

In 2005 – a year before the United States singled him out for conspiring to import more than five kilograms of cocaine into the country – Chepa experienced a movie episode. On August 1 of that year, in a cockfight at the El Carril racecourse, in Tonalá, Jalisco (west of Mexico) a bloodbath occurred. A commando armed with AK-47 rifles began firing indiscriminately at the crowd, where José González Valencia and other members of the extinct Millennium Cartel, now CJNG, were. The attackers, all hitmen from The Zetas they injured more than 20 people and left four dead. The Chepa he managed to escape and twelve years later he was captured in South America.

On October 26, 2016, the US authorities issued an indictment against this criminal leader. He is facing an indictment for distributing five kilograms of cocaine. Although his work within criminal organizations was more administrative, it is also linked to a series of killings of rival state agents and hitmen.

If convicted, González Valencia faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case is part of the Operation Stir the Pot, which was supported by the Working Group against Organized Crime and Drug Control (OCDETF). The DEA’s Los Angeles Field Division is investigating with the help of DEA Brasilia.


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