Carlos Mendoza Serrato, methamphetamine distributor for the CJNG in Minnesota

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced the sentencing of Carlos Mendoza Serrato to 265 months in prison, for acting as the facilitator and organizer of a drug trafficking organization. The conviction resulted from an investigation stretching from Minnesota to California, involving personnel from Homeland Security Investigations (a part of ICE), the Minneapolis Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, Carlos Mendoza Serrato conspired with others to traffic methamphetamine and other controlled substances into and throughout Minnesota. Serrato delivered and arranged for the delivery of methamphetamine to sub-distributors and collected funds, vehicles, and other items received from the sale of methamphetamine and other illegal drugs.

With access to court documents and the defendant’s guilty plea, the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune reports that the investigation began in 2011 and revealed that the criminal operation had ties to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). The Star Tribune cites police statements in reporting that Serrato’s family in Mexico is closely aligned to CJNG leadership.

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel is a Mexican criminal group based in the state of Jalisco in western Mexico. The CJNG is headed by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, a.k.a. "El Mencho", who is the most-wanted criminal in Mexico and one of the most-wanted in the U.S. The Department of State is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to his arrest and/or conviction.

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