Sinaloa Drug Cartel high ranked former member was arraigned today on federal drug charges following his extradition from Mexico. Felipe Cabrera Sarabia is facing one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and heroin, one count of conspiracy to import into the United States cocaine and heroin, and distribution of heroin.
The indictment returned by a federal grand jury in January 2012 placed those charges. The 50-year old Cabrera Sabaria was brought to the United States on June 12, 2020, after Mexican courts ordered him extradited on the three counts of the Indictment. He pleaded not guilty this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez in Federal Court in Chicago and remains in federal custody.
According to the Indictment, from at least May 2005 until December 2008, multi-ton qualities of illegal drugs were brought to the U.S. after Sarabia conspired with other Sinaloa Cartel members. More than 20 members, including Sarabia of the Sinaloa or Beltran-Leyva drug cartels, were charged in federal court in Chicago.
John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Robert J. Bell, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced the developments. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago provided valuable assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erika L. Csicsila and Andrew C. Erskine are representing the government.
A mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and a maximum penalty of life in prison is carried for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and heroin count. A mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and a maximum penalty of life in prison for conspiracy to import cocaine and heroin count.