According to reports, an infamous Mexican drug kingpin and convicted cop-killer who co-founded the Sinaloa Cartel could be released from prison in Mexico soon.
A Mexican panel is on the approach of granting Hector Luis Palma a legal remedy that would guarantee his release from a high security jail near Mexico City, according to the Tijuana-based magazine Zeta.
Palma, nicknamed “El Güero” due to his light complexion and blue eyes, is a former drug trafficker and co-founder of the Sinaloa Cartel with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and Ismael Zambada Garcia.
His life was dramatized in the Netflix series “Narcos: Mexico,” where he was played by Gorka Lasaosa in seasons 1-3.
Palma has served time in prison in both the United States and Mexico.
In 1978, he was arrested for drug trafficking for the first time in Arizona. He was sentenced to eight years in a federal prison in the United States.
Palma’s family was brutally murdered by a rival drug lord after his parole. In vengeance for their deaths, he launched a violent murder campaign and returned to drug trafficking with the Sinaloa Cartel.
Palma was detained again by Mexican military forces in 1995 after surviving a plane crash.
He was extradited to the United States and spent nearly two decades in the Atwater Federal Prison before being sent back to Mexico to face trial for the murder of two police officers.
Attorneys for Palma have sought to overturn his conviction in the cop slayings, arguing that witnesses central to the government’s case were coerced.
Two years ago, a court sided with Palma and ordered his release, according to Border Report.
Mexican prosecutors have been fighting the court’s decision ever since. They have asked Mexico’s Supreme Court to uphold Palma’s conviction, but the court declined to hear the case, allowing the lower court’s decision to stand.
Palma’s release is expected in a few days, according to Zeta.
The Sinaloa Cartel has been described by US investigators as “the largest, most violent, and most prolific fentanyl trafficking operation in the world.”
Fentanyl is a hazardous synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin. According to the Justice Department, fentanyl is currently the biggest cause of death among Americans aged 18 to 49, and it has been fueling the opioid epidemic in the United States for the past eight years. Between 2019 and 2021, fatal overdoses increased by 94%, with an estimated 196 Americans dying from fentanyl each day.
According to the DOJ, the Sinaloa Cartel operated as a network of drug traffickers and money launderers who obtained precursor chemicals – primarily from China – for the manufacture of synthetic drugs, manufactured drugs in Mexico, moved those drugs into the United States, and collected, laundered, and transferred drug trafficking proceeds.