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15 Notable Drug Traffickers

by Manuel Martinez
fact checked by Alex Hanton

If you were a drug trafficker, would you consider using the alias “Big Butt” or how about “The Bitch”? No? well the following list is about some unsavory characters involved in the drug trade with peculiar lives, experiences and nicknames. They may not be the wealthiest or the most powerful drug smugglers, but they sure have some interesting lives even for a cartel member. With that said, lets not forget that all have blood on their hands and at the end of the day are simply criminals… Criminals with notable stories and origins.


Ismael Zambada García


Considered the real power behind the Sinaloa cartel by some, this 63 year-old veteran of the Mexican drug trafficking world has been trafficking drugs since the early ’80s. Although he was born in January, his nickname refers to the month of May. Today he forms part of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel. His organization sends hundreds of tons of cocaine, marijuana, heroin and crystal meth to the U.S. every year. He may be powerful and a billionaire, but it wasn’t enough to keep his son Vicente from being arrested and later extradited to Chicago to face federal drug charges. In April 2010, he gave a rare interview to the editor of Processo magazine at an undisclosed location somewhere in the mountains near the golden triangle region. When asked about the $5 million reward for his capture, he shrugged and stated he would not be taken alive.


Raul Meza Torres


At the ripe age of 16, this young trafficker/gunman took over his father’s group of traffickers after he was gunned down in Culiacan, Sinaloa in 2007. His father’s alias was M-6, so in honor of his slain father, he went by the nickname Mini-6. From all accounts Mini-6 was thrust into the world of drug trafficking at an early age. It all came to a head on March 18, 2010 when he was gunned down during a shootout with police in Jalisco state, Mexico. He died at the age of 18.


“White Boots”
Arturo Beltran Leyva


Known as a particularly brutal individual, Arturo was called White Boots for his (you guessed it) preference for white shoes. He used to be part of the Sinaloa Cartel until a bloody internal feud lead them to wage war against their former partners. White Boots established his own smuggling network named the “Beltran Leyva Organization” and allied himself with the feared Zetas Cartel. Throughout the years he became a mentor to an up and coming trafficker/enforcer named Edgar Valdez Villarreal(who appears later in the list). For years, Mexican law enforcement had sought in vain to arrest White Boots, that is until finally in early December 2010 they received a tip that he was throwing an early Christmas party in a gated community near the city of Cuernavaca. Marines raided the party but White Boots managed to escape capture. However, his bodyguards and other people arrested at the party gave info that led marines to a luxury condo a week later.

White Boots surrounded himself with an elaborate security apparatus consisting of three rings of surveillance/security tasked with identifying and reporting on army and police movements throughout the city of Morelos, but this wasn’t enough to keep him safe. A day before the raid, Mexican special forces along with federal police identified the majority of these lookouts and neutralized them. On December 16, 2009 naval special forces moved in on the condo, a fierce firefight ensued. After 90 minutes, thousands of rounds, and grenades from both sides, White Boots and his bodyguards, along with one soldier, were dead. Soon after his death, White Boot’s brother Hector, ordered the murder of the family of the slain soldier.


“Chino Antrax”
Rodrigo Wong?

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Information on this individual is hard to come by, but what is known is his first name, Rodrigo, and his last name possibly Wong. His family is originally from China, hence the “Chino” part of his alias. He operates along the pacific coast of Mexico. He leads part of an enforcement organization called the “Antrax” group. This group works for the Sinaloa Cartel. Recently, songs have been composed by various musicians dedicated to the exploits of this rogue and his band of executioners.


“The Professor”
Servando Gomez Martinez


The Professor acquired his alias due to his previous life as a High School teacher in the Mexican state of Michoacan. He and other like-minded individuals created La Familia Michoacana as an evangelical Christian vigilante group in the late ’80s with the aim of driving out drug dealers and other criminals in their state. Not long after, they began exporting massive amounts of drugs themselves, especially meth to the U.S. (they still forbid anyone to sell or use in their home state). Recently, after the death of their leader, La Familia Michoacana split into two organizations, La Familia Michoacana and Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar) with the Professor ending up the leader of the Knights Templar.


“The Craziest One”
Nazario Moreno González

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He was the leader of La Familia Michoacana cartel based in the state of Michoacan, Mexico. The Craziest One certainly lived up to his alias. In one famous example, his group announced their independence from other cartels by throwing six human heads on a dance floor of a club in 2006. Gonzalez’s cartel was unusual in that they used their Christian faith to further their criminal interests. The craziest one was killed in a confrontation with federal police on December 9, 2010.


Iván Velázquez Caballero

Zeta 11

El Taliban is head of operations in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico for the Zetas Cartel. The name evokes images of savage insurgents in the Mountains of Afghanistan, which might be why he choose such a name. He has ordered/planned various prison escapes of imprisoned Zeta gunmen over the years. Although he is wanted by the government of Mexico and the U.S., in the end it might be cancer which finally takes out Taliban – his condition has deteriorated.


“The Phantom”


This guy really lives up to his alias. Only small amounts of info are available on him, mostly from underlings that have been captured. His first name is thought to be Everardo and he was born in the state of Veracruz, southern Mexico. He joined the Mexican army and attained the rank of Coronel, later deserting and joining the Sinaloa Cartel specifically as an enforcement chief for Chapo Guzman (pictured). Unlike other cartel bosses he prefers to remain anonymous, not seeking the limelight and glory. He is currently fighting on behalf of his boss Chapo Guzman for territories in and around Acapulco.


Wilber Varela


A former Colombian Police agent who became a drug dealer and rose through the ranks to become a high level member of the Norte Del Valle Cartel. Varela was an extremely violent Narco who had no qualms about crushing his rivals and their families. After years of working with Norte del Valle Cartel, he started a bloody war with Diego León Montoya Sánchez for the control of the drug routes. During this time he would move between different countries hoping to evade law enforcement and his enemies. Finally in early 2008 he was found murdered in a hotel resort in Venezuela. In the end he was killed by his own bodyguards who then took over his empire.


“The Mummy”
Jesus Enrique Rejon Aguilar


Jesus Enrique Rejon Aguilar, aka the Mummy (el Mamito) is one of the original Mexican special forces soldiers that formed the Zetas cartel in the late ’90s. He is believed to be third in command of the organization. According to the DEA and U.S. State Department, el Mamito oversees marijuana and cocaine trafficking operations in the state of Coahuila. The Mummy is responsible for coordinating the training of Zetas Nuevos, or the newer generation of Zetas, by a group of ex-Guatemalan kaibiles. On July 3, 2011 he was captured along with several bodyguards in the state of Mexico. He has just been extradited to to the US.


Juan Carlos Ramírez Abadía

Carlos Ramirez Abadia Chup3

Abadia was one of the leaders of the North Valley Cartel (Norte del Valle Cartel), who was wanted on drug smuggling, murder and RICO charges in the United States of America. In addition to the trafficking of cocaine, it is believed Abadia also participated in money laundering and trafficking of heroin. Through Abadias’ illegal enterprise, he has amassed a fortune estimated at $1.8 billion by the US Department of State. On August 7, 2007, Abadia was arrested in Aldeia da Serra, a wealthy neighborhood of Barueri, state of São Paulo, by Brazilian Federal Police. Soon after his capture all his property in Brazil was auctioned off to the public, bringing in several million dollars. “Lollipop” was extradited to the United States on August 22, 2008.


“Big Butt”
Arturo Villarreal Heredia


El Nalgon aka “Big Butt” is a veteran assassin in the service of the Arellano Felix Cartel better known as the Tijuana cartel. His alias is apparently due to his ample backside. Even after the cartel started to lose ground to other organizations, Big Butt stuck around. Big Butt is wanted for the murders of a prominent Tijuana journalist and a state prosecutor in 2004. He was eventually captured along with his boss, Francisco Javier Arellano-Felix while they were deep sea fishing off the coast of Baja California on his yacht, “Dock Holiday” by the U.S. Coast Guard on August 16, 2006.


Raydel Rosalío López Uriarte


Crutches worked as a gunman for the Arellano Felix Cartel for years until 2008 when he, along with others, broke from the cartel and engaged in a bloody civil war for control of Tijuana and other territories. Around the same time Crutches developed a network of extortion and kidnapping rings that terrorized Tijuana for several years until his capture. Crutches was arrested on February 8, 2010 in la Paz, Baja California. After his capture he revealed why his alias was “Crutches.” He stated that a couple years before, he crashed his motorcycle and for a while had to use crutches to get around. Among other things he was known for providing combat fatigues to his gunmen bearing the Jackass Logo of a skull with two crossed crutches below. In the end he was captured with the help of informants, possibly even his own sister who was kidnapped outside a supermarket in Tijuana a week before his arrest.


“The Bitch”
José Filiberto Parra Ramos

La Perra Caf

Why would anyone much less a drug trafficker call themselves Bitch? Only he can answer that question. Filiberto Parra Ramos José aka La Perra, aka the Bitch, one of the most bloodthirsty killers of the Tijuana cartel of the Arellano Felix family, broke away – along with Crutches and others – to form their own organization in early 2008. He was famously involved in a shootout with gunmen from the Arellano clan several weeks later. A meeting was called to address grievances both sides had toward each other, instead a firefight broke out in which a running gun battle involving more than 40 people lasted for more than an hour. On June 21, 2008 the Bitch was caught by federal police in a safe house in Tijuana. He was immediately put on a plane to Mexico City by the army. He is currently awaiting trial.


Edgar Valdez Villarreal


Edgar Valdez Villarreal better known as La Barbie, has gained notoriety for his flashy lifestyle and bloodthirsty nature. One of the few American born and raised cartel henchmen to rise through the ranks to such a high level in the drug trafficking underworld, Villarreal was born and grew up in Laredo, Texas. He was on the high school football team, where he was given the nickname Barbie due to his light skin, green eyes, and facial features. During his senior year, he started dealing marijuana. Soon after, he was indicted on drug charges, but before authorities could arrest him, he fled to Mexico where he joined the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel and quickly moved up the ranks. Valdez allegedly came to lead the enforcement gang called Los Negros, who were engaged in a territorial dispute in the Nuevo Laredo region against Los Zetas.

While the group was controlled directly by Valdez, it was overseen by the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel. shortly after the death of the cartel’s leader, Arturo Beltrán Leyva on December 16, 2009, Valdez began to dispute the cartel’s leadership and its territory. After Arturo’s death, his brother Hector Beltran suspected Barbie had given Arturo’s whereabouts to authorities. During Arturo’s confrontation with naval special forces, Arturo called Barbie for back up, requesting Barbie and his men break through the security ring and help him flee. Barbie instead did nothing. Mexican and U.S. officials claim that Valdez sent at least one ton of cocaine per month into the U.S. In 2009, the Justice Department posted a $2 million reward for information leading to his capture. On August 30, 2010, Valdez was captured by the Mexican federal police near Mexico City. In a video released by federal police, Villarreal told his interrogators how he smuggled drugs from Panama to the United States and transported cash from the U.S. back into Mexico hidden in trailers. He revealed that he spent $200,000 to make a film based on his life; however, he decided not to release the movie because it might reveal too much information about him. In November, 2010, Mexico started his extradition process to the U.S.A

fact checked by Alex Hanton