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Former cartel member: 'El Chapo' used train route to transport cocaine

By Daniel Uria
Former cartel member: 'El Chapo' used train route to transport cocaine
Accused Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman used a train to transport drugs from Mexico to New York, a former cartel member testified Monday. File Photo by Mario Guzman/EPA

Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Alleged drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman used a train route to run cocaine from Mexico to New York, a member of the Sinaloa Cartel testified Monday.

Tirso Martinez Sanchez told jurors in Guzman's drug trafficking trial that the tankers would transport containers of cooking oil that would be siphoned out and fitted with secret compartments stacked with kilos of cocaine.

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Workers would disguise the drugs by dabbing them with grease to throw off drug-sniffing dogs and add an inch or two of oil to the container to dissuade customs agents from inspecting the containers.

Martinez said he began overseeing the train operation in 2000 and the train earned the cartel $500 million to $800 million in cocaine sales from New York, Los Angeles and Chicago between 2000 and 2003.

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The cocaine trains would stop at a warehouse in New Jersey where the drugs would be loaded onto box trucks and transported to New York. Once in New York, Martinez's men would leave cars filled with drugs in the parking lots of fast food restaurants for distributors.

"We would tell them what car held the drugs, and hand them over the keys," he said.

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Martinez said he stopped working with with the Sinaloa Cartel after three of his warehouses were raided by police and he lost $100 million worth of cocaine.

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He estimated he made between $15 million to $20 million throughout the time he worked with Guzman.

Also Monday, Guzman's wife Emma Coronel Aispuro spoke to Telemundo about sitting in the courtroom during the trial although she hasn't been able to be in contact with her husband since he was extradited in January.

"I think it's what any wife would do in my place, be with her husband in difficult times," she said. "In one way or another so that he feels, and sees me present, and feels my support."

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Coronel added that the media made Guzman "too famous," although she believes he enjoys some of the attention.

"You have to be honest, I think he did like it, he does like it a little," she said.

She added coverage of the trial was important, as "media pressure is present and everything can be clearer and everyone can see what really happens" in court.

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