DOJ offers $10M reward for El Mencho, head of new Mexican cartel taking over illegal drug trade

Carlos Granda Image
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
El Mencho, who is head of the New Generation Cartel of Jalisco, is shown in a photo.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- He is called El Mencho and he is the head of the New Generation Cartel of Jalisco, and officials say it has taken over for the Sinaloa cartel.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions put a price on El Mencho - a $10 million reward. Sessions also announced indictments on 45 people.

"We believe that they traffic at least 5 tons of cocaine and 5 tons of methamphetamine into the United States every month," Sessions said.

Federal agents said the cartel is now one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the world and its U.S. base is in Southern California. In one drug bust in Hollywood, agents found 50 kilos of cocaine and $2.5 million in cash.

Officials said the cartel has 5,000 members and controls 23 Mexican states. The cartel has also expanded to Europe, Asia and Australia.

"His gang will basically take over an entire city. He'll take kids and make them work for him by force. He will tell the mothers and fathers if they don't work, they die," said Daniel Comeaux, with the Drug Enforcement Agency in L.A.

The case is being prosecuted by the Department of Justice in Washington, but the Los Angeles office and the DEA are on the front line of the fight.