“La Garra”: the feared and bloodthirsty leader of the Jalisco Cartel in the United States
The DEA placed him in 2016 as one of the three heads of the CJNG along with “El Mencho” and Abigael González Valencia, “El Cuini”. For more than a decade he has been part of the criminal group.
Little known, José Luis Mendoza Cárdenas, alias “La Garra”, leader of the arm of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) in the United States is considered one of the two leaders who could be placed at the head of the criminal organization in case of that Nemesio Oseguera, “El Mencho”, was killed or detained by the authorities.
“La Garra” appears in documents of the US authorities, the “National Drug Threat Assessment” report prepared by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), in which it is confirmed that he is responsible for operations in the US.
One of his hallmarks is that for more than a decade he has remained faithful to “El Mencho” and that it has been part of the CJNG since they were known as “Los Matazetas”, an armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel that had the task of preventing the entrance of Los Zetas to its territory.
He is known for his bloody methods. On July 25, 2008, he was suspected by the authorities of the state of Jalisco as responsible for a heinous crime in which three minors were killed : two 7 and 8 year old girls and a 17 year old boy as well as three others adults in the municipality of Zapotlán El Grande. All were stabbed or killed by suffocation.
The family was originally from Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí, and had bought their house from the former governor of Jalisco, Alberto Cárdenas Jiménez. They had moved to the new house two months before, after one of them was kidnapped and then released, after payment of a large sum of money.
On August 1 of that year, “La Garra” and six other men were arrested for their alleged involvement in the crime. They were also accused of stealing 400,000 pesos from the family. Authorities also seized two vehicles, multiple rounds of ammunition, two weapons and communication equipment.
On August 30, 2008, all detainees were formally charged with seven charges related to the crime, however, the name “La Garra” was not included in any of the charges and he was released.
The authorities alleged that the case was not related to drug trafficking and that it was strictly a kidnapping scheme carried out by a network of kidnappers in complicity with government agents.
Mendoza Cárdenas was released without explanation from the authorities. Years later, his influence within the CJNG grew and he positioned himself as one of the main members of the criminal group.
2016 DEA reports indicate that the CJNG bastion in the US is located in California and New York and from there distributes the drug from Jalisco throughout the country.
Like “El Mencho” he began in the criminal world working for the Sinaloa Cartel where he learned to traffic methamphetamine to American soil following the orders of Ignacio “Nacho” Colonel, who was in charge of Guadalajara Plaza and was killed in 2010.
In addition to methamphetamines, “La Garra” would also be responsible for trafficking cocaine and heroin.
Also Hugo Gonzalo Mendoza Gaytán ,”El Sapo”, is the other of the most wanted members of the CJNG by the US drug authorities.
The control area of the control area of ‘’El Sapo”, according to the DEA is Puerto Vallarta , Jalisco, a plaza of great importance for the CJNG, as it represents its financial bastion.
He is also appointed as the person in charge of recruiting new hit men for the criminal organization, whom he even recruits through Facebook ads.
He was born in Apatzingán, Michoacán, on October 2, 1988, that is, he is currently 30 years old.
At only 30 years of age, Hugo Mendoza recruits staff with deception, because he makes them believe that they will work as security guards, however, he moves his victims to uninhabited areas where he keeps them in inhumane conditions.
Their recruits have nothing left but to remain in the CJNG , because if they refuse or rebel, they kill and incinerate them. This is extremely common and in the remote mountain villages is common knowledge that few have spoken out about.
The wife of “El Sapo” is the commercial administrator and washes the money obtained from the profits of the drugs on behalf of the CJNG and her husband, the US government said
Hugo Mendoza is also appointed as the person in charge of recruiting new hit men for the criminal organization, whom he even recruits through Facebook ads .
“El Mencho” is one of the most wanted drug traffickers in Mexico and the United States , in case of being captured, the names of “La Garra” and “El Sapo” stand to take the reins of the criminal organization.