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FBI seizes $2.3M from drug group linked to 'El Chapo's' Sinaloa Cartel

By Andrew V. Pestano
The FBI recently conducted a raid against an unidentified drug organization and seized $2.3 million. The drug group is linked to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel. File photo by Carl Ballou/Shutterstock
The FBI recently conducted a raid against an unidentified drug organization and seized $2.3 million. The drug group is linked to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel. File photo by Carl Ballou/Shutterstock

ANAHEIM, Calif., May 12 (UPI) -- The FBI recently seized $2.3 million worth of drug money after a raid in Anaheim, Calif., of a drug trafficking organization linked to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel.

No arrests have been made related to the drug money seized by the FBI. The FBI's investigation, aided by the IRS and local law enforcement in California, into the unidentified Mexico-based drug group has lasted about two years. Authorities have used methods including wiretaps to locate where members laundered money and operated a large-scale narcotics trade.

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"On May 5, 2016, investigators served a search warrant on the 1200 block of West Katella in Anaheim, California, where $2.3 million was seized," the FBI said in a statement. "Large amounts of money and narcotics have been seized previously during this ongoing investigation. Numerous bank accounts in the United States and internationally have been identified during this investigation and financial analysis of these accounts is ongoing."

The Drug Enforcement Administration credits Guzma's Sinaloa Cartel with dominating the illegal drug market in nearly the entire United States, adding it is most powerful along the West Coast, the Midwest and the Northeast.

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"El Chapo" -- meaning "The Short One" or "shorty" -- so dubbed because of his 5-foot-6-inch frame, was detained in Guatemala in 1993 and then extradited to Mexico to face murder and drug trafficking charges. He could be extradited to the United States.

Guzman escaped from prison in 2001 by hiding in a laundry cart after bribing prison guards, and was re-captured in February 2014. He was again captured in the city of Los Mochis in his home state of Sinaloa on Jan. 8 after escaping from Mexico's Altiplano Federal Prison on July 11.

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