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Indiana Beauty queen arrested in Mexican cartel bust that included one of feds’ most wanted fugitives

An Indiana magnificence queen was swept up in a sweeping drug bust with ties to a Mexican cartel that’s been years in the making.

Glenis Zapata, 34, who was topped Miss Indiana Latina in 2011, allegedly used her job as a flight attendant to maneuver drug cash from Chicago to the southern states and into Mexico, in response to a federal indictment. 

She’s charged with two counts of cash laundering stemming from a $170,000 money transport on August 7, 2019, and at the very least $140,000 on September 10, 2019.

Zapata was one of 18 suspects arrested when federal legislation enforcement took down their major goal, Oswaldo Espinosa, who was among the many Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) most wanted fugitives.

Zapata, together with two financial institution tellers – Zapata’s sister, Ilenis Zapata and Georgina Banuelos – had been the newest to be arrested in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces’ take down of Oswaldo Espinosa. 

Glenis Zapata, who was crowned Miss Indiana Latina in 2011, was arrested as part of a Mexico-based international drug operation.
Glenis Zapata, who was topped Miss Indiana Latina in 2011, was arrested as half of a Mexico-based worldwide drug operation. Miss Indiana Latina / Facebook

Espinosa is the alleged ring chief of a multi-million greenback, Mexico-based drug trafficking ring that flooded US streets with 1000’s of kilograms of cocaine, in response to the newest federal indictment filed on May 16.

From 2018 to 2023, Espinosa recruited seemingly peculiar, under-the-radar employees like Zapata, as half of his alleged prison enterprise, which used warehouses and garages all around the Windy City to cover cash and medicines. 

Cash and cocaine had been loaded into semi-trailer vans and on planes from the Midwest stash homes to the southern half of the US and into Mexico, “including via commercial flights and using the assistance of Glenis Zapata,” the indictment alleges. 

Glenis Zapata is accused of using her job as a flight attendant to transport over $300,000.
Zapata is accused of utilizing her job as a flight attendant to move over $300,000. Miss Indiana Latina / Facebook

Espinosa was the top of his personal Mexican worldwide drug trafficking group (DTO) referred to as the Espinosa DTO, in response to courtroom paperwork. 

The final submitting, which included the fees towards Zapata, detailed eight drug trafficking operations from 2021 to 2023 and 15 money transports between November 2019 and March 2022. 

The investigation into Espinosa was spearheaded by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, which was created to assault main drug rings in the US. 

Oswaldo Espinosa was a wanted fugitive by the DEA who allegedly ran a multi-million dollar, Mexico-based international drug trafficking organization.
Oswaldo Espinosa was a wanted fugitive by the DEA who allegedly ran a multi-million greenback, Mexico-based worldwide drug trafficking group. DEA

The ESPINOSA DTO is a small cartel in comparability to powerhouses like The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel, which management practically all of Mexico and its maritime ports and unfold their tentacles all through the U.S. 

In complete, researchers estimate there are about 150 Mexican cartels of varied sizes with about 175,000 “active members” (as of 2022), in response to a September 2023 examine by Science.

And many of these organized crime syndicates unfold their unlawful companies into the US, and smuggle medicine and cash throughout the border. 

The investigation into Espinosa was spearheaded by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, which was created to attack major drug rings in the US. 
The investigation into Espinosa was spearheaded by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, which was created to assault main drug rings in the US.  U.S. District Court

A May DEA report mentioned Mexico’s “most powerful and ruthless cartels” — The Jalisco New Generation and Sinaloa cartels — function in all 50 states.

Both cartels’ major merchandise are meth and fenantyl, in response to the report, which mentioned that Mexican cartels have “caused the worst drug crisis in US history.” 

Dismantling main drug operations is amongst federal legislation enforcement companies’ major targets. 

Zapata was one of 18 suspects arrested when federal law enforcement took down their main target
Zapata was one of 18 suspects arrested when federal legislation enforcement took down their major goal. Miss Indiana Latina / Facebook

In 2023, legislation enforcement companies inside 150 miles of the border carried out practically 600 bulk money seizures valued at $18 million, the DEA report says. 

“DEA’s top operational priority is to relentlessly pursue and defeat the two Mexican drug cartels … that are primarily responsible for driving the current fentanyl poisoning epidemic in the United States,” the report says. 

The operation “puts resources into the US’s most violence- and overdose-plagued cities to target the violent dealers who kill thousands of Americans every week with fentanyl and with weapons.”

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