World News

Former high aide to El Chapo often called ‘The Engineer’ pleads responsible to drug costs

A former senior lieutenant to drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman pleaded responsible to trafficking greater than 150 kilograms of cocaine and greater than 30 kilograms of heroin on Friday. 

Felipe Cabrera Sarabia, 51, faces a minimal of 10 years and as much as life in jail when he’s sentenced on July 7. 

Felipe Cabrera Sarabia after his arrest by Mexican police. 

Felipe Cabrera Sarabia after his arrest by Mexican police. 
(REUTERS/Bernardo Montoya )

Known as “The Engineer,” Sarabia allegedly ran operations for the multi billion-dollar Sinaloa drug cartel earlier than he was arrested in 2015. 


He instructed U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman by way of an interpreter on Friday that he “at all times made a residing as a cattle rancher,” based on the Chicago Sun-Times. 

Authorities escort Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, center, from a plane in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.  

Authorities escort Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, heart, from a airplane in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.  
(U.S. regulation enforcement through AP)

Sarabia’s responsible plea comes after Guzman was sentenced to life in jail in 2019 for his 25-year reign as the pinnacle of the Sinaloa drug cartel. 

Guzman’s son, Ovidio Guzmán, was arrested by Mexican police earlier this month within the Mexican metropolis of Culiacan. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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