Jose Alfredo Cardenas-Martinez remains behind bars in Mexico as U.S. seeks extradition
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas has indicted Jose Alfredo Cardenas-Martinez aka “El Contador,” or The Counter,” on various charges related to his position as the head of the Cardenas family drug trafficking operation known as the Cartel del Golfo.
According to a news release, a federal grand jury in Brownsville returned the nine-count indictment on Nov. 10, 2021. Cardenas-Martinez is currently in custody in Mexico pending litigation on the U.S.’s extradition request.
Cardenas-Martinez is charged in an international conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth, cocaine and fentanyl. The indictment also alleges he possessed with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of meth, five kilograms of cocaine and 400 grams or more of fentanyl.
As head of the CDG, Cardenas-Martinez allegedly coordinated the shipment of narcotics to the United States for illegal sale across the country. According to the charges, the conspiracy to transport cocaine, meth and fentanyl into the United States began in 2015 and continued through 2021.
If convicted, Cardenas-Martinez faces up to life in prison and a possible $10 million fine. The indictment also includes a notice of forfeiture of any proceeds he made and property used to facilitate his drug trafficking business.
The DEA and HSI conducted the joint investigation with the assistance of Border Patrol. The Justice Department`s Office of International Affairs also provided substantial assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Betancourt is prosecuting the case.
On March 13, gunfire erupted in the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo after the arrest of a leader of one faction of the Northeast Cartel, the successor group to the old Zetas Cartel, Mexico’s most bloodthirsty gang. Suspected cartel members opened fire and hijacked and burned vehicles, apparently in retaliation for the arrest.
The suspect’s nickname — “The Egg” — corresponds to Juan Gerardo Treviño, a nephew of imprisoned Zetas leader Miguel Angel Treviño.