In a trial in the United States, it's been revealed that the notorious drug lord El Chapo has been running a major secret operation in Canada for 10 years now. The infamous Mexican drug lord, whose real name is Joaquin Guzman, is the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. He was arrested and extradited to the United States back in 2017 and is now on trial in Brooklyn, New York.
In the past, El Chapo has been compared to major organized crime bosses like Pablo Escobar and even Al Capone. The United States Treasury Department even considered him the most powerful drug trafficker in the world. That's why it may be surprising that with the whole world in his hands, El Chapo was running a major, secret operation in Canada.
Testimony by one of El Chapo's henchmen, Alexander Cifuentes-Villa revealed that this major Canadian operation dates back as far as 10 years when El Chapo first brought on Cifuentes-Villa to run his Canadian deals in 2008. He told the court that the long-standing relationship involved dealing cocaine, heroin, and crystal meth.
The operation was massive. El Chapo's people would get the drugs into Canada using trailers, helicopters, and boats from Mexico to Vancouver. This Canadian operation alone was earning El Chapo multi-millions of dollars.
Working with the Canadians, everything was going well. El Chapo's drugs went from the U.S. to Canada in “trailers, also by helicopter, and over the Pacific Ocean to Vancouver,” Alex said. They were making "dozens of millions" from Canada alone— Brian Fitzpatrick (@BrianFitz_) 17 January 2019
El Chapo wasn't in the Canadian operation alone though. He dealt with other alleged crime bosses like Tony Suzuki from the Montreal mafia. He also reportedly worked with a Canadian drug trafficker named Stephen Tello. That's where the story gets even wilder.
39-year-old Tello, who has lived in Toronto, Montreal, and Kitchener, began working with El Chapo back in 2008 when his Canadian dealings got underway. Cifuentes-Villa testified that after a while El Chapo became paranoid that the Canadian trafficker, Tello was stealing his money. He says that El Chap told him to lure Tello to Mexico so they could kill him but Cifuentes-Villa said Tello wouldn't take the bait.
But El Chapo got paranoid. Was Tello taking his money? He hatched a plot in which Alex would lure the Canadian to Mexico, and then he would be killed. But Tello, Alex said, wouldn't take the bait. Plan B: get the Hells Angels to do it in Canada— Brian Fitzpatrick (@BrianFitz_) 17 January 2019
The Mexico plan wasn't going to work out so El Chapo had to find a different way to reportedly kill Tello. Since Tello wasn't going to leave Canada, El Chapo had to find someone up here to murder him. That's where Canada's Hell's Angels come in.
The Hell's Angels, an international motorcycle gang, are deeply involved in organized crime on their own. In Canada, the gang has 34 different chapters and more members per capita than any other country. They have been under investigation in multiple provinces for crimes including drug trafficking, extortion, weapon offenses, and even murder.
This made them the prime group to carry out El Chapo's dealings in Canada. Cifuentes-Villa testified that he had pending appointments with the Hells Angels in Canada and he was planning to go through them to murder Tello.
Fortunately for Tello, who is apparently still alive today, this planned hit never took place. Cifuentes-Villa was arrested in 2013 before the hit could go down, sparing Tello who was probably unaware that Chapo ever wanted him dead. Tello didn't get off completely free though. The Canadian was also taken down by the RCMP in 2015 after a sting operation in Nova Scotia.
Tello is now serving a 15-year sentence in Canada for another drug operation but is also being indicted on charges related to El Chapo in New York. As for Alexander Cifuentes-Villa, in exchange for his testimony, he has reached a deal with the US officials for a lighter sentence.
El Chapo, on the other hand, is facing 17 different charges, all of which he has pleaded not guilty to. The charges include operating a criminal enterprise, conspiring to murder, firearms charges, and money laundering. If he is found guilty, El Chapo's minimum possible sentence is life in prison.