El Chapo aide sig­nals he’ll help pros­e­cu­tors

The Dallas Morning News - - Nation -

CHICAGO — A for­mer top lieu­tenant to Joaquin “El Chapo” Guz­man and likely wit­ness at the Mex­i­can drug lord’s New York trial has pleaded guilty to traf­fick­ing con­spir­acy in Chicago, say­ing in a plea agree­ment un­sealed Fri­day that he will co­op­er­ate with pros­e­cu­tors in hopes of a re­duced sen­tence and pro­tec­tion from car­tel ret­ri­bu­tion for his fam­ily.

The 19­page plea deal, posted in Chicago fed­eral court, says 43­year­old Vi­cente Zam­bada pleaded guilty to charges in a case orig­i­nally filed in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., in 2002 and then trans­ferred to Chicago this Au­gust. Zam­bada also agreed not to con­test the gov­ern­ment’s seizure of $1.3 bil­lion in ill­got­ten as­sets in a re­lated case brought in Chicago in 2009.

Jury se­lec­tion for Guz­man’s trial in New York wrapped up this week, with open­ing state­ments set for Tues­day.

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