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Sinaloa Cartel lieutenant likely to be tried alone

Published: Friday, March 29, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

CHICAGO – A federal judge in Chicago has indicated he’ll try an admitted lieutenant in Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, Vicente Zambada, separately from two co-defendants in the drug-trafficking case.

His comments came at a Thursday status hearing for Zambada and his alleged cartel associates, Alfredo Vasquez Hernandez and Tomas Arevalo-Renteria.

Lawyers for Hernandez and Arevalo-Renteria say if the three are tried together, trial testimony that only applies to Zambada would end up tainting their clients.

Prosecutor Thomas Shakeshaft said the government doesn’t object to splitting the trials. Judge Ruben Castillo’s (KAHS’-tee-yoh) didn’t formally rule but said his intention was to agree.

Zambada’s father, Ismael Zambada, is believed to be the right-hand man of Sinaloa leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Guzman is one of the world’s most wanted outlaws.

Trial dates haven’t been set.

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