An investigation by El Universal found that between 2000 and 2012, the U.S. government had an arrangement with Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel that allowed the organization to smuggle billions of dollars of drugs in exchange for information on rival cartels, the Houston Chronicle reports. Sinaloa, led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, supplies 80 percent of the drugs entering the Chicago area and has a presence in cities across the U.S.
There have long been allegations that Guzman, considered to be the world's most powerful drug trafficker, works with American authorities. The El Universal investigation is the first to publish court documents that include corroborating testimony from a DEA agent and a Justice Department official. The written statements were made to the U.S. District Court in Chicago in relation to the arrest of Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, the son of Sinaloa leadder Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and allegedly the Sinaloa cartel's “logistics coordinator.” El Universal, citing court documents, reports that DEA agents met with high-level Sinaloa officials more than 50 times since 2000.