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3:57 AM Sat, Nov. 17th

Mexican cartel activity in Golden Valley

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, head of the Sinaloa Cartel, in U.S. custody January 19, 2017.

Wikimedia Commons

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, head of the Sinaloa Cartel, in U.S. custody January 19, 2017.

KINGMAN – The drug bust that netted nearly $50,000 worth of methamphetamines and heroin in Golden Valley Monday has ties to major international drug trafficking.

According to InSight Crime, a foundation that specializes in the study of organized crime, The Sinaloa Cartel has been described as the largest and most powerful drug trafficking organization in the Western Hemisphere. The cartel was founded in Mexico’s Sinaloa state and now operates in 17 Mexican states, and – by some estimates – in as many as 50 countries. 

In recent years, the Sinaloa Cartel has become embroiled in a series of violent turf wars. The cartel’s most notorious leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, once considered by U.S. Department of Treasury as the “most powerful drug trafficker in the world,” was finally apprehended by Mexican Marines and federal police in 2016 after a series of prison escapes leading back to 1993.

Neither the Kingman Police Department nor Mohave County Sheriff’s Office would release details on the cartel’s involvement in Mohave County beyond Monday’s arrest of Omar Antonio Sanchez-Burgos, 34, (The original MCSO Press release listed him as Omar Antonio Burgos-Sanchez, 23) for possession of dangerous drugs for sale, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of narcotic drugs for sale, possession of narcotic drugs, child abuse, misconduct with a weapon, all felonies.


Omar Sanchez-Burgos

Sanchez-Burgos was also brought up on an immigration deportation charge. If determined an inmate was born outside the United States, standard procedure for the Mohave County jail is to contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Daily Miner has reached out to ICE to verify Sanchez-Burgos’ immigration status, but has not received an answer. Sanchez-Burgos was allegedly the head of the Golden Valley organization reportedly supplying numerous pounds of heroin and methamphetamine to residents of Golden Valley, Kingman and Bullhead City. He reportedly had connections to the Sinaloa Cartel in purchasing the drugs. Several people that had been arrested prior to this operation were identified as alleged street level dealers for Sanchez-Burgos and his organization.

He’s being held by MCSO on $50,000 bond. The case has been turned over to the Mohave County Attorney’s office. Sanchez-Burgos faces three to 15 years in prison for the possession of dangerous drugs for sale and possession of narcotic drugs for sale, class 2 felonies.

His preliminary hearing is 8:30 a.m. July 14 in the Kingman Cerbat Justice Court

Detectives had been working a two-month investigation into a drug trafficking organization. The raids netted more than one pound of methamphetamine, approximately one-quarter pound of heroin, approximately one pound of marijuana and several firearms. The street value of the methamphetamine is estimated at approximately $40,000 and the heroin approximately $9,600.

Inquiries to the Arizona Department of Public Safety about the amount of drugs that pass through the highway hub were not answered by Thursday’s deadline.

Nine people, including Sanchez-Burgos, were arrested for numerous felony charges including narcotic drugs for sale and possession of narcotic drugs.