A former cartel assassin known as “Chino Antrax” was killed after he fled federal probation supervision in San Diego.
Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa, “Chino Antrax” was a high-ranking Sinaloa cartel assassin.
Speculations about the whereabouts of the cartel assassin were abound after he disappeared on May 6th, and the plot thickened after three bodies were found in his sister’s BMW, abandoned on a dirt road in Culiacán, Sinaloa.
A photograph of one of the bodies that was leaked on social media certainly appeared to be Arechiga — a man known to have previously changed his appearance with plastic surgery as well as trying to alter his fingerprints.
On May 18th, Arechiga’s family helped with the official identification, and forensic experts from Mexico’s federal prosecutorial agency confirmed the findings, according to the Sinaloa State Attorney General’s Office.
U.S. authorities were also involved in the identification.
#Sinaloa state called in the PGR Federal Attorney Office to help with the identification of a corpse belonging to #ChinoAntrax. They insist they are unable to ID. Family has not been allowed to see the body. pic.twitter.com/3lPZ28v90X
— Borderland Beat (@Borderland_Beat) May 18, 2020
— Borderland Beat (@Borderland_Beat) May 17, 2020
Arechiga’s sister, Ada Jimena Arechiga Gamboa, and her husband, Juan Garcia, have been confirmed as the other two victims.
It is a “public secret” that Chino Antrax cooperated with the US government during his time in federal custody. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import cocaine and marijuana in 2015, but he was sentenced in 2019.
Arechiga was released from prison on March 3rd and supposed to be under probation supervision for the next five years.
But when a U.S. probation officer went to his new residence for a scheduled check-in earlier this month, Arechiga was gone, according to a court affidavit.
And then, there’s a gap in the timeline, since it is unclear why he would return to the Sinaloa cartel stronghold of Culiacán. At one point he would flaunt his power and wealth on social media as part of the cartel, then he was deemed a traitor, after cooperating with the US.
According to Mexican media reports, three people were allegedly kidnapped, in a gunfight from a home linked to Arechiga’s sister. The bodies were discovered the next day in her black SUV.
His neighbor was Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, who ran cartel operations behind the scenes while co-leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán gained prominence as the public face of the organization.
When Chino Antrax initially joined the cartel, he was first tasked with “small errands,” according to his attorney, but he eventually earned a spot leading the cartel’s brutal hit squad.
The squad’s violence was often on public display, including leaving bodies strung up on bridges.
Arechiga was arrested after disembarking from a plane in Amsterdam in 2013. He had been living undercover, using the name of a dead Mexican man, and had gone to extraordinary lengths to alter his appearance. U.S. authorities had to confirm his identity then through “forensic techniques,” according to the Justice Department.
His sister, who was found dead alongside him, was one of several relatives that asked courts for leniency.
“One of the greatest joys of my life was the birth of my brother Jose Rodrigo with whom I have spent a lot of time,” she wrote.
Before his sentence was pronounced in the courtroom in December, he told the judge: “I’m truly ashamed. … I promise you I will never again go the wrong way. I would like to be able to work honestly.”
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