Serafín Zambada Ortiz

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Serafín Zambada Ortiz
Born (1990-05-27) 27 May 1990 (age 24)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Other names "Sera"
Education Autonomous University of Sinaloa
Organization Sinaloa Cartel
Criminal charge
Drug trafficking
Criminal status Arrested
Spouse(s) Karime Ellameli Torres Acosta
Parents Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada and Leticia Ortiz
This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Zambada and the second or maternal family name is Ortiz.

Serafín Zambada Ortiz (born 27 May 1990) is a United States-born Mexican alleged drug trafficker and son of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, one of the top leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel. He is married to Karime Ellameli Torres Acosta, the daughter of the late Manuel Torres Félix ("The Crazy One"), another Sinaloa Cartel drug lord. Zambada Ortiz was active on social media, where he posted pictures of his extravagant lifestyle.

On 20 November 2013, he was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) at the border crossing in Nogales, Arizona. The U.S. government has several charges against him for his alleged involvement in methamphetamine and cocaine trafficking from Mexico to the U.S. Most of the details about the case, however, remain in secrecy given his relationship with "El Mayo" Zambada.

Early life and career[edit]

Zambada Ortiz was born in San Diego, California, United States on 27 May 1990 to Leticia Ortiz (mother) and Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada (father), one of the top leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, a Mexican drug trafficking organization. He grew up in Sinaloa and spent some years in Phoenix, Arizona.[1][2] Zambada Ortiz was an agronomy student at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa in Culiacán, Sinaloa.[1][3][A 1] He married Karime Ellameli Torres Acosta, daughter of Manuel Torres Félix ("The Crazy One"), another former Sinaloa Cartel drug lord, on 6 February 2006.[5][A 2] Torres Félix, brother of Javier Torres Félix (now imprisoned), was killed in a gunfight with the Mexican Army on October 2013.[7] Zambada Ortiz had a close relationship with Ismael Zambada Imperial (alias "El Mayito Gordo"), one of his other brothers from another of his father's mistresses.[8][9]

On Twitter and Facebook, Zambada Ortiz uploaded pictures of his extravagant lifestyle filled with luxurious watches, trucks, golden-encrusted weapons, and exotic animals.[10][11] The photographs Zambada Ortiz uploaded on social media helped the U.S. authorities identify and implicate him with other Sinaloa Cartel associates.[12] In particular, Zambada Ortiz had several pictures with numerous members of Los Ántrax, an armed squadron of the Sinaloa Cartel.[13] He also has a narcocorrido song from Enigma Norteño, a musical group from Sinaloa, about him. In the drug ballad, Zambada Ortiz is described as a humble man who enjoys sports, weapons, and drinking. The song concludes with a greeting to Jesús Alfredo and Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, sons of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.[14]

Criminal charges[edit]

In September 2013, Zambada Ortiz was charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico to the United States through a California grand jury indictment. The court alleged that he imported at least 500 grams of methamphetamine and 5 kilograms of cocaine, but no further details were provided.[15] If sentenced for such charges, he will face one to ten years in prison in the United States and forfeit all the drug proceeds he earned from his criminal activities. Zambada Ortiz was also identified by U.S. authorities by his alias "Sera".[16][17] However, he is not wanted for any criminal charges by Mexican law enforcement. His brother Vicente Zambada Niebla, arrested in Mexico City in 2009, was extradited to the United States and is awaiting trial in the state of Illinois.[18] His uncle Jesús Zambada García (alias "El Rey") was arrested by Mexican authorities in 2008 and extradited to the U.S. on 2012.[19] Zambada Ortiz's father "El Mayo" Zambada was the right-hand man of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the former top leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.[20]

Arrest and case[edit]

While crossing the international border through Nogales, Arizona from Mexico to do some Christmas shopping,[21] Zambada Ortiz and his wife were arrested by federal agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on 20 November 2013. His wife was released shortly thereafter but he was sent to a prison in Tucson, Arizona.[22] The September charges against Zambada Ortiz had been kept confidential, catching him by surprise while he attempted to cross into the United States legally.[23] On 25 November, the case was moved from Tucson to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego, California.[24] Two days later, he appeared in court in San Diego and pleaded not guilty to the drug trafficking charges. The magistrate ordered Zambada Ortiz to be held without bail and told his attorneys that they could ask for a bail in the next hearing, initially scheduled for 3 January 2014.[25] Outside the courtroom, his attorney stated that the Facebook and Twitter accounts that were used to identify his connection with the Sinaloa Cartel were not his.[12][26]

On 1 January 2014, Zambada Ortiz turned down his right to a speedy trial after deciding that his legal team wanted to continue gathering evidence. His lawyers argued that there was more evidence surrounding the case that needed to be investigated and analyzed by the team. Imprisoned in a maximum security cell, Zambada Ortiz asked to delay his trial to mid-March 2014.[27] However, the San Diego federal court judge refused to postpone the trial and ordered the hearing for 17 January and the case for 3 February 2014.[28] The hearing was postponed for 5 February 2014 because new evidence was presented by the DEA a day before the hearing.[29] The day before, however, the hearing was postponed once again for 28 February 2014.[30] The case was scheduled for 21 March 2014.[31] Following the case, many of the details surrounding his charges remained in virtual secrecy (a protective order was issued for the case, meaning that the details were not allowed to be disclosed to the public). However, there was an immense amount of evidences presented by the U.S. government against Zambada Ortiz the day of the case. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said that the case was "complex", and that this forced the deadlines of the case to be extended (it was unknown if more details from the charges were to be released to the public). This was likely due to the fact that Zambada Ortiz is not a typical defendant because he is the son of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel and one of the world's most-wanted men.[32]

On April 2014, his case was moved to a federal district court in Los Angeles, California. Zambada Ortiz is expected to appear in court on 15 September 2014.[33]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Another source states he was born in Coronado, California, a resort city within the San Diego County.[4]
  2. ^ Other sources state that his wife's name is Yameli Torres Acosta.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Valdez, Cynthia (23 November 2013). "Detienen a otro hijo de 'El Mayo' Zambada". Milenio (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 23 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Detienen a otro hijo de 'El Mayo' Zambada". El Diario de Coahuila (in Spanish). 22 November 2013. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Davis, Kristina (22 November 2013). "Son of cartel leader arrested at border". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on 23 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Vera, Miguel Ángel (23 November 2013). "La carambola que tundió a los Zambada". Proceso (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Captura la DEA a hijo de "El Mayo" Zambada". Proceso (in Spanish). 21 November 2013. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Los lujos del hijo de un capo, en Twitter". AnimalPolítico (in Spanish). 22 November 2013. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "Mexican army kills Sinaloa cartel leader". Fox News. 13 October 2012. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Detienen a otro hijo de 'El Mayo' Zambada". NSS Oaxaca (in Spanish). 22 November 2013. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Cárdenas, José (22 November 2013). "Confirma DEA captura de hijo menor de "El Mayo" Zambada". Radio Fórmula (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "Hijo del 'Mayo' exhibe en Twitter autos, armas doradas, animales, relojes…". Proceso (in Spanish). 22 November 2013. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Cuauhtémoc Blanco, tigres y lamborghinis… las fanfarronerías del hijo de Zambada en Facebook". Proceso (in Spanish). 22 November 2013. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Cawley, Marguerite (25 November 2013). "Mexico Authorities Track Drug Lords' Families on Social Media". InSight Crime. Archived from the original on 26 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "La vida pública de un Zambada". Reporte Índigo (in Spanish). 25 November 2013. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Serafín, el angelito de 'El Mayo' Zambada". Milenio (in Spanish). 23 November 2013. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  15. ^ "US arrests son of Mexican cartel boss". Global Post. 22 November 2013. Archived from the original on 23 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  16. ^ "Confirma EUA detención de hijo de "El Mayo" Zambada". TV Azteca (in Spanish). 22 November 2013. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  17. ^ "Busca fiscal de EU dar a Serafín Zambada condena de al menos 10 años". El Diario de Juárez (in Spanish). Information via El Universal. 25 November 2013. Archived from the original on 26 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  18. ^ Spagat, Elliot (22 November 2013). "Serafin Zambada, Son of Mexican Cartel Leader, Arrested at US Border". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  19. ^ "El Rey Zambada podría ser encarcelado de por vida". Azteca Noticias (in Spanish). Notimex. 4 April 2012. Archived from the original on 20 January 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  20. ^ "Mexican cartel kingpin's son nabbed on drug charges in Arizona". Reuters. 22 November 2013. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  21. ^ Valdez, Cynthia (26 November 2013). "Detención de Serafín, nuevo golpe de la DEA contra el 'Mayo' Zambada". Milenio (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 26 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "Cae hijo de 'Mayo' Zambada". El Siglo de Torreón (in Spanish). 22 November 2013. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "Las entrañas del arresto de Serafín Zambada". Ríodoce (in Spanish). Information provided by Proceso. 23 November 2013. Archived from the original on 26 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  24. ^ "Trial for drug kingpin's son moved to California". Arizona Daily Star. 25 November 2013. Archived from the original on 26 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  25. ^ "Serafín Zambada se declara no culpable". El Informador (in Spanish). 27 November 2013. Archived from the original on 27 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  26. ^ Littlefield, Dana (27 November 2013). "Son of cartel leader appears in federal court". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on 27 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  27. ^ Sánchez, Laura (1 January 2014). "Hijo del Mayo Zambada renuncia a juicio en EU". El Universal (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  28. ^ "Rechaza EU aplazar juicio contra Serafín Zambada". Milenio (in Spanish). 2 January 2014. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  29. ^ "Posponen audiencia de Serafín Zambada". Ríodoce (in Spanish). 16 January 2014. Archived from the original on 19 January 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  30. ^ García Ramos, Inés (5 February 2014). "Aplazan audiencia de Serafín Zambada". Zeta (magazine) (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 5 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  31. ^ Sánchez Ley, Laura (24 February 2014). "EU pospone otra vez juicios de hermanos Zambada". El Universal (Mexico City) (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  32. ^ Davis, Kristina (22 March 2014). "Secrecy surrounds case against drug lord's son". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on 24 April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  33. ^ "Serafín Zambada espera juicio en Los Ángeles". Univision (in Spanish). Notimex. 23 April 2014. Archived from the original on 24 April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 

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