Mexico's El Universal reports June 18 that a protected witness testified to the Prosecutor General of the Republic (PGR) that members of the US Border Patrol collaborated with the Sinaloa Cartel in arms trafficking to the powerful criminal organization. The sworn testimony is being used as evidence in the case against the cartel's recently apprehended kingpin, Joaquin Guzmán Loera AKA "El Chapo" -- who is accused, along with numerous other charges, of supervising the Gente Nueva gang, the cartel's armed wing.
The protected witness was Javier Sandoval AKA "Victoria" -- who served as a Gente Nueva agent in the border town of Nogales, Sonora. Beginning in November 2009, he oversaw several truckloads of arms shipments for the gang from across the line in Arizona. According to documents seen by El Universal, he told PGR investigators that "on the United States side border, where the provider left the trucks abandoned, these vehicles were escorted by the Border Patrol to the frontier with Mexico to prevent them from being intercepted." He stated that a cell called "Los Salazar" operated in Arizona to procure arms for Gente Nueva, with the apparent cooperation of corrupt Border Patrol elements. Sandoval was killed in Mexico City in December 2012, despite being under federal protection.