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El Cocinero confesses about FBI Top Ten Most Wanted's Arellano Felix

Tijuana confidential

Body of Ernesto Ibarra Santes in taxi, September 14 1996
Body of Ernesto Ibarra Santes in taxi, September 14 1996

Last month, the United States government took the unprecedented step of placing Ramon Eduardo Arellano Felix on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, and the State Department offered a $2 million reward. The government began distributing “wanted" posters in Spanish and English. It set up a toll-free hotline for informants. A federal grand jury in San Diego handed up a secret indictment of the 33-year-old Mexican drug lord, who with his brothers are said to run what FBI chief Louis Freeh described as “the most vicious, ruthless criminal organization involved in smuggling drugs into the United States.”

“The most vicious, ruthless criminal organization involved in smuggling drugs into the United States.” Benjamin Arellano Felix (left) and his brother Ramon.

Ramon Arellano’s indictment is said to be based in large part on information generated by the Mexican and U.S. governments in support of a case against Alfredo Hodoyan Palacios, 26, son of a well-to-do Tijuana family who was arrested last year in San Diego, along with Emilio Valdez Mainero, 33, both accused of being hit men for the Arellano Felix cartel. Mexican authorities claimed they were “juniors,” children of elite Tijuana families who sign on as soldiers with the drug lords. Mexican prosecutors want them extradited.

Fasuto Soto Miller (El Cocinero): "I was detained by persons who identified themselves as agents of the Federal Justice Police..."

Michael Pancer, an attorney for Hodoyan Palacios, maintains that the evidence against his client is bogus and obtained through brutal torture of witnesses, some of whom have recanted their testimony. For their part, U.S. prosecutors say they have independent corroboration of the information. The case is slowly making its way through federal court here.

"The government began distributing 'wanted' posters in Spanish and English" September 24, 1997

Included in the documents provided by Mexican authorities are stories of the gang's bloody odyssey from those alleged to have had an inside view, including a man known as el Cocinero, (the cook), who, according to the documents, was the gang’s personal chef during various periods. Pancer says that el Cocinero, whose real name is Fausto Soto Miller, now complains he was tortured by Mexican police and has written a letter to Amnesty International denying his purported confession. Other players include gang members from San Diego’s Barrio Logan, who Mexican authorities claim acted as paid assassins for the gang.

Miguel Hoyodan ("El Lobo") had a warrant for his arrest issued on October 9, 1996.

The accounts, excerpted below, begin with the killing of Ernesto Ibarra Santes, a Mexican federal prosecutor slain by a hail of bullets fired into a Mexico City taxi in September 1996. Ibarra Santis had made no secret of his contempt for the silent support the Arellano Felix gang receives from Tijuana's monied classes. Because of difficulties in the original translation filed in U.S. District Court here, syntax and pronouns have been slightly edited for clarification and passages condensed.

Statement of Leticia Gonzalez Gonzalez agent of the Preventable Police at the Ministry of Public Security. 6:20 a.m., September 14, 1996. 23 years old, single, Catholic, having studied until high school. Born in Mexico City, Federal District. Her partner is third-degree police agent Jose Alcantara Jasso.

They were both inside the patrol car number 03083, today, September 14, at about 12:45 a.m. when they were driving by Edison and Serapio Rendon Streets in Colonia San Rafael when they received an order from the Central Police Station radio station to investigate the facts of a crash that happened in the intersection made by North Insurgentes Avenue and Gomez Farias Street in the same Colonia San Rafael. When the agents arrived to the scene, they found a white and yellow GST Nissan “Trusty” with license plates belonging to the Airport Taxi Service. Inside the car they found that in the right side there was a man moaning; they also saw that the car presented various holes, seemingly firearm shots. The Red Cross ambulance number 18 arrived almost immediately and informed the police agents that there were three dead persons inside the vehicle. The first aid men attended the injured man who was still alive. When the first aid men were carrying the injured man from the stretcher to the ambulance, they noticed that tied to his waist was a 9 millimeter Pietro Beretta with registration number BER 175363.

Onsite inspection report by Judicial Police investigators, 5:00 a.tn. on September 14, 1996, in the Federal District:

The scene of the crime is found at Insurgentes Avenue, Number 59. At that place there were found two streets measuring approximately 15 meters wide, a central sidewalk measuring approximately 2 meters wide, and a sidewalk measuring approximately 4 meters wide. Each street has 5 lanes.

In the West street at about Number 59 there was found a white and yellow taxi “Trusty” Nissan with driving license plates belonging to the airport taxi service. The front part of the vehicle was pointing to the south, and the rear, to the north.

The said vehicle has only two complete windows. The four remaining were broken. The right rear part of the vehicle was also crashed, and the left rear part of the same had an orifice made by a firearm. The trunk was completely crashed and the windscreen presented 16 firearm shots. The upper part of the hood door presented 2 firearm shots. The left upper part of the front door of the vehicle had a firearm shot. In the rear door there were found 2 more shots. In the left fascia, there were found 4 shots more. The trunk door had a shot in the right and left parts. The right fascia presented one shot. The front door of the car showed another shot. Surrounding the vehicle there were pieces of glass.

Inside the vehicle, in the rear part, there was found the dead body of a man lying on the seat with the head pointing to the west and the face to the south. The upper limbs were at both sides of the body, and the lower limbs were pointing towards the east. The body wore dark blue denim cloth pants and a black shirt or sweater. The body presented a firearm shot in the left part of the forehead. There were found blood stains in his clothes and in the front seats inside the car.

In the left extreme of the front seat, the [driver]’s seat, there was found a male corpse, lying on the side, its head pointing to the west and the face to the south. This corpse almost lies on the corpse of another person sitting in the front seat. Regarding the corpse found in the left extreme of the car, it is pointing west, the legs over the seat, and the lower limbs are lying on the floor of the vehicle. The right hand is holding the steering wheel. The corpse wore brown pants, dark blue jacket, and white chemise with a tie.

(It must be mentioned that due to the hour at which the facts took place and due to the lack of light—the car was parked in a dark place and its interior part could not be appreciated very well, nor the corpses. Therefore the use of lamps was necessary in order to see inside of the car.)

Under the front seat of the left part of the vehicle, near the space where the feet of the corpse were placed, a black weapon was found. That was a Pietro Beretta gun with serial number BER4471172. The gun was loaded with one cartridge. It was found that the corpse in the backseat of the car carried a black canvas fanny pack tied to the waist. When the pack was opened, inside were found the following objects: A dark blue card container that had a metallic badge with the legend of “Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, General Division of the Federal Judicial Police, Agent,” and the following letters, “PGR” with “Number 4772.”

Inside the container there was a dark blue card with the legend of the office of the attorney general of the republic with the national coat of arms, PGR,

and a legend that reads “Judicial Police Agent,” a card issued by the office of the attorney general of the republic to the name of Juan Aaron Rosas Gallegos. This card proved his capacity as a federal judicial police agent, and it bears a color photograph in the upper right-hand corner.

Also inside the said container, there were also found copies of two official letters and the permission to carry firearms. Also an official letter that proves the appointment of Juan Aaron Rosas Gallegos as a federal judicial police agent for investigation and judicial support.

Also found: a paper with telephone numbers; a note from his girlfriend; a card container with his application to the National Security Institute in the name of Juan Aaron Rosas Gallegos; a squared sheet with a love letter, a note by his girlfriend; various sheets of love notes; a passport with Number 96340016571 in the name of Juan Aaron Gallegos Rosas issued by the Ministry of Foreign Relations; a worn-out brown wallet that contained a driver’s license in the name of Juan Aaron Gallegos Rosas; a credit card issued by Confia; 2 fifty-pesos bills; 23 ten dollar bills; two one-dollar bills; 4 five-dollar bills; a round key-keeper that in the center has a ship and a dolphin in one side with the legend of La Paz, Baja California that keeps four metallic golden keys and three silvered; a magazine with ten nine-millimeter useful cartridges brand “Lager”;

The fanny pack had blood stains.

The following objects were picked from the corpse: a Citizen watch with its glass crushed; a metallic plaque with small chains that bears the name of Aaron Rosas G.P.G.R.I.N.C.D. 4772 with Number 7945373, OIH POS. P.J.F.O, a golden ring with the name of Miriam; and a white metal chain with a cross with an oval in the center.

Upon examining the corpse located in the front seat on the right side of the car, the following was found: a black fanny pack tied to his waist that contained a magazine with six unspent cartridges, brand 45 Auto; two of the same that are expended; a black leather wallet that contained a registration card in the name of Moreno Flores Israel; a telephone notebook; a bank card issued by Confia to the name of Israel Moreno Flores; 2 fifty-dollar bills; 5 twenty-dollar bills; 3 ten-dollar bills; 5 one-dollar bills; a dark blue card container that had a metallic badge with the legend of the “Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, General Division of the Federal Judicial Police, Agent Number 4702, PGR”; an official letter appointing Israel Moreno Flores as Agent of the judicial police of investigation and judicial support in the state of Baja California; airplane tickets in the name of Israel Moreno, Aaron Rosas, and Ernesto Ibarra from Tijuana to Mexico City, departure time at 6:25 p.m.; a reservation and confirmation to a flight in the name of Israel Moreno, Aaron Rosas, and Ernesto Ibarra dated September 13 with Aeromexico departing from Tijuana; a yellow metallic Chinese key-keeper with a swiss knife brand stainless; a small aluminum container of Vicks VapoRub; and a key-keeper with fox tail tied at one end.

Near the left foot of the corpse there was found a cold “Caballito” gun, 45 millimeters, with series number FAC2819. It was charged. Also, a piece of finger was found, which corresponds to the phalanx of someone’s hand. (The acting personnel ignored whose hand the piece of finger belonged to, as due to the conditions under which the search was carried out, it was very difficult to gather information about the injuries shown by the corpses.)

When the corpse of the driver was examined, the following was found: a silver Rolex watch on the wrist; a nail cutter; a key-keeper with seven keys; 2 ten-peso coins; 5 one-peso coins; 3 ten-cent coins. On the dashboard the following was found: a copy of the driving car number HELJ591031 issued to the name of Juan Arturo Hernandez Lizardi and a triangular personal identification card, Number 832. Both cards were perforated, seemingly by one of the bullets. The car keys were found switched to the car. They were held by a metallic key keeper with the legend “Apache,” and there was also found a plastic keeper holding two silver keys.

The eyewitnesses to the facts said that the shoot-out began from the place where the Union Circus is located and that there even exist bullet holes in the window glass of “Tok’s” restaurant. However, due to the hour, it was not possible to carry out a good on-site inspection of the place. There were found no more traces or clues related to the facts.

Arrest warrant,October 9, 1996

In fulfillment of the order issued on this date, today there was issued an arrest warrant for Ramon Arellano Felix; Fabian Martinez González (“El Tiburon”); Eduardo Leon (“El Abulon”); Isaac Contreras Ayala (“El Calaco”); Alfredo or Miguel Hodoyan (“El Lobo); Emilio Valdez Mainero (“Cabeza de Perro”) as the persons allegedly responsible for the commission of the crime of criminal association.

And for Ramon Arellano Felix; Francisco Cabrera Castro (“La Piedra”); Fabian Martínez Gonzalez (“El Tiburon”); Eduardo Leon (“El Abulon”); Domingo “N” (“N”); Isaac Contreras Ayala (“El Calaco”); Alfredo or Miguel Hodoyan, or Odoyan Palacio (“El Lobo”); and male person “N” (“El Capitan”) as the persons allegedly responsible for the commission of the crime of intentional homicide.

The physical description of Ramon Arellano Felix is the following: approximately 35 years old, 1.86 meters in height, athletic build but with a belly that stands out, approximately 135 kilos in weight, white skin, long to the shoulders light-brown hair that sometimes he ties back close to the head, and he wears a cap. Wide forehead, large almond-shaped eyes which are light brown in color. Medium-sized straight nose, large mouth, regular-size lips, and that as a distinguishing characteristic he always wears Nike clothing. His footwear is also of the same brand, and whenever he goes on a trip he wears his hair in a pony-tail. He wears transparent glasses such as those used for reading. Generally his apparel is that of a tourist and he looks like a gringo.

The physical description of Alfredo or Miguel Hodoyan, or Odoyan Palacio, “El Lobo,” is the following: 25 years old, slim, white skin, short straight light-brown hair, thick eyebrows, big light brown eyes, small straight nose. Medium-size mouth, regular lips, oval chin, as a distinguishing characteristic he is very slim.

The physical description of Emilio Valdez Mainero, “El C.P.” or “Cabeza de Perro,” is the following: 30 years old, 1.77 or 1.76 meters, heavy build, white skin, short straight hair which he combs back, medium sized forehead, medium eyebrows, big dark brown eyes, small straight nose, large mouth, regular-sized lips, oval chin. He is a law student.

The physical description of Isaac Contreras Ayala, “El Calaco,” is the following: 27 years old, 1.76 meters in height, slim build, white skin, short light-brown hair, medium-size forehead, regular-sized eyes which are light brown in color, small straight nose, large mouth, thin lips, and as a distinguishing mark he is very slim and stooped over.

The physical description of Fabian Martinez Gonzalez “El Tiburon,” is the following: 26 or 27 years old, 1.79 in height, slim build, light olive skin, short straight black hair, regular-sized forehead, regular eyebrows, big black eyes, straight nose, large mouth, regular-sized lips, oval chin. As a distinguishing characteristic he has a long, thin face and he has big teeth.

The physical description of Eduardo Leon, “El Abulon,” is the following: 26 years old, 1.78 in height, athletic build, light brown skin, short wavy dark brown hair, regular-sized forehead, bushy eyebrows, small flat nose, large mouth, thick lips, deft chin. From time to time he lets his beard, whiskers, and sideburns grow, without distinguishing characteristic.

The physical description of male “N,” “El Capitan,” is the following: approximately 40 years old, 1.68 in height, strong build, dark brown skin, short (straight) black hair, regular-sized forehead, regular eyebrows, regular-sized eyes which color is not known but they are not dear-colored, straight middle-sized nose, large mouth, regular-sized lips, round chin, and as a distinguishing characteristic he is a light brown person.

The physical description of Domingo “N,” is the following: 25 or 26 years old, 1.79 in height, slim build, light-brown skin, short black hair, regular-sized forehead, bushy eyebrows big light brown-colored eyes, small regular-sized nose, regular-sized mouth, regular-sized lips, oval chin, long slim face with no conspicuous distinguishing characteristics.

It is evident that brothers Ramon, Eduardo, Benjamin, and Francisco Javier, all of them surnamed Arellano Felix, have fled the administration of justice, as there have been issued different arrest warrants for them for the commission of different drug offenses.

Statement of Fausto Soto Miller, “El Cocinero" (the cook), dated September 27, 1996

“Today, it being approximately 900 hours and 30 minutes, I was detained by persons who identified themselves as agents of the Federal Judicial Police, as well as by personnel of the 15th Military Zone, when I was running out of the safe house that I had been taking care of for several days.”

El Cocinero wishes to indicate that inside the house were kept firearms, both short- and long-range and of different calibers, as well as magazines, marijuana, and a Chevrolet-brand Suburban vehicle, black in color, that said vehicle has bullet holes and was used by the armed group of the Arellano Felix brothers, of which he is a member, when they assassinated two military men and a private individual on the 22nd of July of the current year.

When he was running, he was carrying a firearm, .38 caliber Super Colt, serial number 2652. For this reason, he was immediately transferred to these offices. First of all, he wishes to indicate that his parents are named Felipe Soto Aguilar, 82 years old, and Agustina Miller de Soto, who passed away at the age of 56. His father lives at the domicile located at Calle Hidalgo, number 280, in the municipality of Navolato, Sinaloa. His parents had 12 children all with the last name of Soto Miller.

Approximately five to six months ago he separated from his wife since there was differences between them, mainly due to finances to support the family, and at present he knows that her parents help her financially. At present he is not living with anyone.

In the year 1973, when [el Cocinero] was about 12 years old and was in the fifth grade at a public school, “Alvaro Obregon,” located in front of the old Autonomous University in Sinaloa, he met Eduardo Arrellano Felix when he used to play in the school yard. He remembers that Eduardo was in the second or third year of junior high school, which was located in the same building.

After a few years he did not see Eduardo Arrellano Felix, but in the year of 1978, when Eduardo was studying medicine, he ran into him again. His friendship with Eduardo was his link to meet the other brothers and their parents.

One of Eduardo’s brothers is Francisco Arrellano Felix, who is called “Pancho” by his parents. El Cocinero remembers it was in 1980 when he met Pancho, when the latter would organize events such as afternoon musical (parties). In about 1986 or 1987, he knew that Pancho was the owner of a discotheque in Mazatlan, named “Frankie Oh." He knows that Pancho married or lived with a person named Victoria, whom they call “Vicky,” but he does not know when this happened.

[El Cocinero] also knows that Pancho had a lot of girlfriends, and he has learned through the media that at present Francisco is being detained in the high-security prison at Almoloya, and that the reason he is being detained is the illicit activities of his brothers, and he cannot provide more information in this regard.

The next Arrellano Felix brother is Benjamin, approximately 41 years old. He is engaged in illicit activities, such as drug trafficking. He first married Esperanza Martinez “N,” a native of Culiacan, but at this time el Cocinero cannot remember the year. At present he is married to Ruth Serrano Corona, approximately 36 years old. They have had two girls and a boy, and one of the girls is called “Baby,” approximately seven or eight years old. He does not remember the boy’s name, but he should be about three or four years old.

El Cocinero met Benjamin in about 1982 due to the friend-ship he had with his brother Pancho, when el Cocinero had a seafood restaurant in the city of Culiacan, on the Avenida Colon, number 577. At that place both Eduardo and Benjamin would come to eat.

Eduardo and Benjamin have a sister, Norma Leticia, approximately 42 or 43 years old. El Cocinero does not know her profession, but he knows that she is involved in construction, same trade in which her father was employed before his death, approximately in 1985, and the business was to buy lots and to build residential housing.

The next brother is Carlos, approximately 40 years old. El Cocinero does not know how he is employed at present, but he used to own a clothing boutique here in the city of Guadalajara, and in 1980, Carlos went to Mexico City to model clothes, which led el Cocinero to conclude that besides owning his business Carlos was a model.

The next brother is Eduardo, approximately 39 years old, who is a general medical practitioner. El Cocinero says he knows Eduardo practiced his profession from the time he graduated from the Autonomous University of Guadalajara in 1980 until the year of 1991. He was associated with other persons in a private clinic in the city of Culiacan. El Cocinero only remembers the name of Dr. Lomeli, who was the person who supported Eduardo during his early days in that profession, and he remembers that this place is to be found close to the central bus terminal. In about the year 1993, he knew that Eduardo had married but he does not know with whom nor where the event was held. This he found out by means of the friendship he has with a person called “El Grillo,” the latter being a person that runs Benjamin’s errands in the city of Tijuana, when Benjamin was living in a house in Otay Universidad, a house which he later found out had been seized by the office of the attorney general and at present is a kindergarten.

The next sister is Alicia Maria, approximately 37 to 38 years old, who studied a business course such as that of a secretary, studies which she did not use, since she helped her father to carry out activities in the construction business, when all of them were living in this city of Guadalajara. In about 1989, she married the dentist Demetrio Zamora Gaxiola. At present he does not know where they are living.

Next is Enedina, approximately 34 or 35 years old, secretarial studies. She studied at the same school as Alicia Maria. She married Luis Toledo Carrejo, about 36 or 37 years old. He is a public accountant who practiced his profession in the city of Tijuana for the company called “Toledo,” engaged in the construction of buildings, a company that was established by Benjamin Arellano Felix. El Cocinero remembers that about 1988, the company was responsible for the construction of a shopping center that contained innumerable shop locales, located at about Avenida Fundadores in the city of Tijuana. He does not know if this center has been seized by the office of the attorney general of the republic. Luis Toledo later went to live in the city of Guadalajara, where he probably does accounting and builds real estate, all of these financed by Benjamin Arellano Felix.

Next is Fernando, 32 or 33 years old. An engineer, he finished his studies in the city of Guadalajara. He practices his profession by buying lots of land in Guadalajara and constructing buildings on the land. El Cocinero knows this due to comments made by Eduardo. He knows that Fernando got married, but he does not know her name, and he knows that the couple has a girl approximately a year old. Fernando does not have a nickname.

Next is Ramon, 32 or 33 years old approximately, he studied up to high school. He is engaged in the trafficking of marijuana and cocaine, an activity which he carries out in the city of Tijuana, through the movements carried out by his criminal group. He is married to Angelica “N," 27 or 28 years old, a housewife. They have a daughter approximately 7 years old, who has the same name as her mother. The same persons at present time live in San Diego, California.

During the year 1992, el Cocinero reinitiated his friendship with Benjamin Arellano Felix. He was at a house on Hipodromo street, seemingly number eleven, in Colonia Hipodromo, in the city of Tijuana. It was owned by Emilio Ricardo Valdez Mainero, also known as “CP” and “five segundos.” He had this last nickname because he would sing the song “Clave Privada,” interpreted by the “Los Tucanes" music group, who were born in Tijuana. With regards to the first nickname, it was because he is very courteous.

A subject whose nickname is “El Grillo” (the cricket) arrived at this house in a white Nissan vehicle, which license plate he does not know, and took him to Cacho neighborhood, to a house on Hermosillo street, which number he does not remember. It was the house of Benjamin Arellano Felix. He was informed later that the office of attorney general had seized this property. El Cocinero says he arrived at this place without being blindfolded or lowered inside the vehicle.

There he met Benjamin, who was interested for him to be both his cook and the cook for his security staff. It was then that he began to render his services for said person. From the month of May 1992 until June or July of that same year, when they moved to property located in Colonia Mision del Sol, he had the duty to buy foodstuffs and to such end “El Grillo” would accompany him to the market. El Grillo was also in charge of blindfolding him so that he would not be able to know the precise location of the property. They stayed in that property for about four or five months, until the end of that year.

At the beginning of 1993, they moved again to a property located in Otay Universidad, and there he kept performing the same duties. They stayed in this property up to around the 26th of May, 1993, which was the day that Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo died, amongst other persons, in the shootout at the International Airport of Guadalajara.

After that date, they moved to a small house located in a lower-middle-class area around the neighborhood of “La Presa.” A total of four persons lived there, including el Cocinero, one named Javier, one named Benjamin, and another one whose nickname is “El Quemado” (burnt) or “chichharron,” since his face and his hands are burned. He said they stayed there for about two weeks because Benjamin decided so and departed in the company of El Chicharron and other persons, whose name he does not know, and went to another state, which name he does not know.

Javier and el Cocinero stayed in that property, and then el Cocinero left and moved to an apartment in San Diego that was occupied by his friend, whose name is Alejandro Hodoyan. He stayed in that place for about two weeks, and then returned to the city of Tijuana.

Around July 1993, he came back to Guadalajara to accompany his wife to the house of his mother-in-law. He moved into a house on Cardenal Street, number 42, and stayed in this place until October, 1994. During this time, he purchased a small trailer with equipment necessary to sell tortas and hamburgers, which cost him 10,000 pesos. He sold food from his stand in front of the church of Chapala from January 1994 until that October, when he went to Mexico City and stayed in the house of his brother Martin, located in Coyoacan Avenue, number 14, first floor.

Some days before he left for Mexico City, his friend Alejandro Odollan had called him from the city of San Diego and asked him to meet his brother, Miguel, whose code is “88,” and also a member of the security staff of Ramon Arellano Felix.

The day after he arrived in Mexico City, el Cocinero went to a restaurant known as “La Tablita,” located in Colonia Polanco, and met “El Tiburon" (the shark), who was in the company of Miguel. Ramon Arellano Felix was also there, and from this place they went to another one towards the east side of Colonia Polanco, to a house rented by Emilio Valdez . as a safe house, so that all of the members of the criminal group would have this place to lodge in when they arrived in Mexico City.

Two or three days later, Manolo Rico arrived, coming seemingly from the city of Puebla, and Ramon instructed el Cocinero on that special day to prepare a “marriscada” [a dish prepared with seafood]. The others were also there, and el Cocinero heard them talking about their plans to kill other persons, enemies of their interests, so that they would be the only powerful drug traffickers in that area.

They intended to kill Amado Carrillo. They had made an attempt to kill him, but had not located him. El Cocinero also heard that they had sent a special group in order to kill a Colombian whose name he does not remember, whom they also did not locate. He also heard that a week later they achieved their purpose by killing him.

El Cocinero states that they stayed in this property for about two or three weeks and once they achieved the result they wanted, it seems that all of them returned to the city of Tijuana, and el Cocinero was left at a shopping mall in Mexico City. Next day, he returned to Tijuana and stayed there for a week.

Then he travelled to the city of Tijuana and met with Ramon Arellano Felix in a house which location he does not know. He states that “El Avestruz” (the ostrich) and another subject whose nickname is “El 20” took him there, blindfolded and lowered inside the vehicle. He remembers that two weeks later the football world championship took place in Los Angeles and that he went to this championship in the company of his friend Alejandro Odallan and his family.

A week later, around the month of November, 1994, el Cocinero returned again to Guadalajara to rejoin his family. Once again, he dedicated himself to the business of selling tortas and hamburgers up to the month of April 1995. Around this date, a subject nicknamed “88” and “ZL,” whose name is Domingo, was in the city and called el Cocinero so that he would help him take a blue Cutlass Chevrolet to Mexico City. He drove this vehicle to Ciudad Satelite, and at the restaurant called “Sanborns” he met with “F.188” and “Cotorro Fernandez,” who also sometimes names himself Marcos, who is a friend of Emilio Valdez. From that place they took el Cocinero to a hotel room nearby in which he found the

person whose alias is “El Chilanor” and that was the first time he had met him and they both stayed in that place for three days before going to Tijuana. During that stay, that also lasted three days, all of them prepared themselves to go on vacation to the port of Acapulco.

Some days before, Emilio Valdez and the person whose alias is “El Cotorro Fernandez” had gone to Acapulco to lease a house to lodge all of them, and el Cocinero drove to that place a blue Cutlass vehicle in the company of “El Gil,” and Ramon Arellano went aboard another Silhouette vehicle, along with “El Tiburon” and “GL” and “ZL.” A small closed Dodge truck was driven by a subject whom he met for the first time, whose alias is “El Piedras,” surnamed Cabrera, in the company of “El Chilanor” and “m2” and that in the vehicle’s [truck bed] they took two motorcycles.

El Cocinero states that they stayed in Acapulco during both the Holy Week and the next week, and that he would prepare all of their meals. When they returned to Mexico City, Ramon Arellano stayed again in the house located in the southern area of the city. Two days later, Ramon Arellano instructed them all to return to the city of Tijuana. El Cocinero

returned again to Guadalajara, and only “ZL,” “El 99,” and “GL” stayed with Ramon. This took place during the month of April 1995.

El Cocinero states that under his own undertaking, during the month of July of that same year, he traveled to the city of Tijuana in order to get some money from Ramon or Benjamin to set up a small restaurant, since he had obtained the permit for such end. About that time, Ramon Arellano sent for el Cocinero so that he would keep preparing Ramon Arellano’s meals, and el Cocinero accepted to do so. He kept doing such duties until the beginning of that December.

During this time, “El Tiburon” arrived along with the person whose code is “99,” and they mentioned that one afternoon during the month of either October or November, when they were driving a golden-colored Silverado-type vehicle, they had a fight with two agents of the Judicial Police, who wanted to detain them since it was a seemingly stolen vehicle. El Tiburon shot them with a "cuerno tie chivo" (an AK-47) and killed them.

El Cocinero wishes to make note that during the month of August, Ramon went to the city of San Diego, California, to stay with his sister, Dr. Maria Isabel, and that el Cocinero returned to his duties around the month of November. It was then that he heard a subject, whose nickname is “El C.H/“ or “El Charley,” say that along with some of his friends of the Logan neighborhood, he went to Colonia Playas and had a shootout with another group, and that one person was killed, and that the persort whose alias was “El Chiquilin” (the small one) was injured, so that “C.H.” would have full control of the drugs around said area and to live in peace with his group.

El Tiburon commented to all of the persons who were in the house of Ramon that they killed a photographer of a daily newspaper called HI Mexicano because he tried to blackmail them with photographs he had taken on the day the “Smeke” and “Marroquin” were killed. This had taken place a year before, and a group of “cholos” had taken part in it, headed by “C.H.” and “El Tiburon,” and one of the members of the enemy group had died.

At the end of that year, el Cocinero retired himself from the duties he performed for Ramon Arellano and returned to Guadalajara because Ramon did not let el Cocinero visit his family. At the end of the month of July, he received a phone call at the house of his mother-in-law from el Tiburon, saying that el Cocinero had to go Mexico City to meet el Tiburon. On July 15, at about 16 hours, el Cocinero met with el Tiburon in Guadalajara. Aboard a grey Jetta Volkswagen they went to the “Gigante” shopping mall located on Patria Avenue. They bought food for eight days and went to a place located on Chopin Street, and Ramon Arellano Felix was already there with all of the others. Immediately, el Cocinero started to prepare the meal for all of them.

He noticed through their comments that they were looking for a property allegedly belonging to a person named Amado Carillo, whom they wanted to kill. The next morning, the group went out carrying with them long- and short-range weapons; this group consisted of “ZU” whose name is Domingo; “El Abulon”; “Mochomo”; “Chuta”; “Robocop”; “RIO,” whose name is Ricardo; “El 20,” who is from the Logan neighborhood; “El Pelon” (the bald), whose surname is Verber; and “El Compadre.”

(Sometimes in Tijuana, Ramon Arellano would use an escort of about two vehicles with four or five subjects aboard each of them, all of them from the Logan neighborhood, headed by the “C.H.” or “El Tres Dos,” whose name is David Barron Corona, head of a group of subjects of the Logan neighborhood in San Diego, California. El Cocinero remembers that there is another subject whose nickname is “El Chiquilin,” who is part of the escort of Ramon Arellano, whose physical characteristics are the following; nationality of the U.S., he speaks solely in English, about 30 years old, 1.84 meters high, thin build, fair complexion, a haircut like those used in the Logan neighborhood, straight and black hair, ample forehead, bushy eyebrows, black and big eyes, a slightly straight nose and big mouth, regular lips, regular-shaped chin, and as a particular feature he has tattoos of those used by persons from the Logan neighborhood, but el Cocinero does not remember what kind of tattoos these were.)

This continued for three days. Ramon Arellano Felix stayed in the company of a person whose name is “El Chico" (the small one), a friend of Ramon. Both of them would go out aboard a big motorcycle and return, but el Cocinero did not know the purpose of these outings. On the afternoon of the 22nd, he remembers that “El Chico” turned on the radio, and all of them heard that a shootout had taken place around Vallarta Avenue in front of a graveyard. It was mentioned on the radio that this had been a shootout between men from the armed forces and civilians and that there had been some persons who had been injured and some had been killed. At that moment, Ramon called all of them and told them that they had done wrong, since this shootout had taken place against men from the armed forces and this was not the purpose of their stay in this city. Regarding the reason for the confrontation, el Cocinero could not accurately know, since everybody said it had been a mistake. Ramon told them they had to leave for Mexico City and from there they had to go to Tijuana.

Between the 23rd and 24th day, the wife of Ramon Arellano, Angelica “N,” arrived alone at the Camino Real Hotel. Several evenings later, Ramon Arellano, his wife, and two ladies who were with the latter got into a green Jetta. “El Champagne” drove. All the escorts had AK-47 guns and short-range firearms of different calibers with them, and they went onboard a metallic gray Golf with license plates from the state of Jalisco. “El Chuta” was sitting on the rear right seat. “Robocop” was sitting on the front seat. And “El 20” was the driver, while el Cocinero was sitting on the left rear seat. On the way to Chapala, they were intercepted at Calle Cristiania, in the zone where the restaurants are located, by two persons in a Silverado. Everybody in the two vehicles, except the ladies, got out and shot against the persons in the Silverado, thus wounding those persons, and running away after those events took place.

The next day, through news in the local newspapers, they knew that the persons they had wounded were elements of the Federal Judicial Police. Everybody received money in dollars for their expenses. El Cocinero received $200 and 1000 pesos, and he received the instruction to buy train tickets so that Ramon, “El Chico," and el Cocinero could leave Mexico City.

Statement of Francisco Cabrera Castro, “La Piedra," rendered on September 21, 1996, before the agent of the federal public prosecutor in Mexico City.

At about seven o’clock in the morning on Friday, September 13, “El Tiburon" called to Ti-

juana by telephone to Cabrera Castro’s domicile. “El Tiburon” asked him to arrive at two o’clock in the afternoon at the airport in Mexico City in order to pick them up, since he was going to arrive with various persons. At about 40 minutes past one o’clock, he noticed “El Lobo," “El Abulon," and “El Calaco” were waiting for him' outside the domestic arrivals gate at the airport. They had come from Tijuana. “El Lobo” asked him to wait a minute as his friend “El Tiburon” was about to arrive from Mexicali.

When “El Tiburon” arrived, accompanied by a man called Domingo, code “Z1,” they all boarded a gray Ichi Van and went to Colonia Polanco, where they stopped at a restaurant called “Sushito."

(Later, they went to a hotel and got into a blue Spirit. They went back to the airport.

where they began to tail a cab that had picked up a person that el Tiburon had identified.) They started chasing the cab on Rio Consulado Avenue to downtown. By the Aragon metro station, he heard “El Calaco” telling “El Tiburon”: “Now, here, here,” meaning that they should approach the cab and shoot the passengers, and “El Tiburon” replied, “No, let’s wait.”

By the restaurant “Toks,” on Insurgentes Avenue, the cab was in the slow speed lane, that is to say, next to the sidewalk, driving at seven or eight kilometers per hour. At that time, the vehicles almost did not move. “El Tiburon” ordered the driver to pass the cab on the left side, and when he was driving beside the cab, “El Tiburon” pulled the trigger, as well as “El Calaco” — both of them shot at the passengers of the cab. He realized that “El Tiburon” had half his body out of the car and shot, while “Calaco” only had his head and hands out of the vehicle to shoot.

“El Tiburon” ordered the driver to pass the cab, and by a store named “OXO” both “El Tiburon” and “El Calaco” shot at the front of the cab. Then they drove off at 100 kilometers per hour, and when they were by Gomez Farias Avenue, they turned right and parked very near Circuito Interior. Almost immediately after, the Cutlass and all of its passengers arrived and parked behind the Spirit. Both “El Lobo” and “El Calaco” put their guns on the rear seat, while the passengers of the second vehicle gave their guns to “El Calaco” and “El Lobo,” who set them also on the seat.

Regarding the attempt against the passengers of the yellow taxi, they not receive no money, even when “El Tiburon” had promised him to send him money.

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Body of Ernesto Ibarra Santes in taxi, September 14 1996
Body of Ernesto Ibarra Santes in taxi, September 14 1996

Last month, the United States government took the unprecedented step of placing Ramon Eduardo Arellano Felix on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, and the State Department offered a $2 million reward. The government began distributing “wanted" posters in Spanish and English. It set up a toll-free hotline for informants. A federal grand jury in San Diego handed up a secret indictment of the 33-year-old Mexican drug lord, who with his brothers are said to run what FBI chief Louis Freeh described as “the most vicious, ruthless criminal organization involved in smuggling drugs into the United States.”

“The most vicious, ruthless criminal organization involved in smuggling drugs into the United States.” Benjamin Arellano Felix (left) and his brother Ramon.

Ramon Arellano’s indictment is said to be based in large part on information generated by the Mexican and U.S. governments in support of a case against Alfredo Hodoyan Palacios, 26, son of a well-to-do Tijuana family who was arrested last year in San Diego, along with Emilio Valdez Mainero, 33, both accused of being hit men for the Arellano Felix cartel. Mexican authorities claimed they were “juniors,” children of elite Tijuana families who sign on as soldiers with the drug lords. Mexican prosecutors want them extradited.

Fasuto Soto Miller (El Cocinero): "I was detained by persons who identified themselves as agents of the Federal Justice Police..."

Michael Pancer, an attorney for Hodoyan Palacios, maintains that the evidence against his client is bogus and obtained through brutal torture of witnesses, some of whom have recanted their testimony. For their part, U.S. prosecutors say they have independent corroboration of the information. The case is slowly making its way through federal court here.

"The government began distributing 'wanted' posters in Spanish and English" September 24, 1997

Included in the documents provided by Mexican authorities are stories of the gang's bloody odyssey from those alleged to have had an inside view, including a man known as el Cocinero, (the cook), who, according to the documents, was the gang’s personal chef during various periods. Pancer says that el Cocinero, whose real name is Fausto Soto Miller, now complains he was tortured by Mexican police and has written a letter to Amnesty International denying his purported confession. Other players include gang members from San Diego’s Barrio Logan, who Mexican authorities claim acted as paid assassins for the gang.

Miguel Hoyodan ("El Lobo") had a warrant for his arrest issued on October 9, 1996.

The accounts, excerpted below, begin with the killing of Ernesto Ibarra Santes, a Mexican federal prosecutor slain by a hail of bullets fired into a Mexico City taxi in September 1996. Ibarra Santis had made no secret of his contempt for the silent support the Arellano Felix gang receives from Tijuana's monied classes. Because of difficulties in the original translation filed in U.S. District Court here, syntax and pronouns have been slightly edited for clarification and passages condensed.

Statement of Leticia Gonzalez Gonzalez agent of the Preventable Police at the Ministry of Public Security. 6:20 a.m., September 14, 1996. 23 years old, single, Catholic, having studied until high school. Born in Mexico City, Federal District. Her partner is third-degree police agent Jose Alcantara Jasso.

They were both inside the patrol car number 03083, today, September 14, at about 12:45 a.m. when they were driving by Edison and Serapio Rendon Streets in Colonia San Rafael when they received an order from the Central Police Station radio station to investigate the facts of a crash that happened in the intersection made by North Insurgentes Avenue and Gomez Farias Street in the same Colonia San Rafael. When the agents arrived to the scene, they found a white and yellow GST Nissan “Trusty” with license plates belonging to the Airport Taxi Service. Inside the car they found that in the right side there was a man moaning; they also saw that the car presented various holes, seemingly firearm shots. The Red Cross ambulance number 18 arrived almost immediately and informed the police agents that there were three dead persons inside the vehicle. The first aid men attended the injured man who was still alive. When the first aid men were carrying the injured man from the stretcher to the ambulance, they noticed that tied to his waist was a 9 millimeter Pietro Beretta with registration number BER 175363.

Onsite inspection report by Judicial Police investigators, 5:00 a.tn. on September 14, 1996, in the Federal District:

The scene of the crime is found at Insurgentes Avenue, Number 59. At that place there were found two streets measuring approximately 15 meters wide, a central sidewalk measuring approximately 2 meters wide, and a sidewalk measuring approximately 4 meters wide. Each street has 5 lanes.

In the West street at about Number 59 there was found a white and yellow taxi “Trusty” Nissan with driving license plates belonging to the airport taxi service. The front part of the vehicle was pointing to the south, and the rear, to the north.

The said vehicle has only two complete windows. The four remaining were broken. The right rear part of the vehicle was also crashed, and the left rear part of the same had an orifice made by a firearm. The trunk was completely crashed and the windscreen presented 16 firearm shots. The upper part of the hood door presented 2 firearm shots. The left upper part of the front door of the vehicle had a firearm shot. In the rear door there were found 2 more shots. In the left fascia, there were found 4 shots more. The trunk door had a shot in the right and left parts. The right fascia presented one shot. The front door of the car showed another shot. Surrounding the vehicle there were pieces of glass.

Inside the vehicle, in the rear part, there was found the dead body of a man lying on the seat with the head pointing to the west and the face to the south. The upper limbs were at both sides of the body, and the lower limbs were pointing towards the east. The body wore dark blue denim cloth pants and a black shirt or sweater. The body presented a firearm shot in the left part of the forehead. There were found blood stains in his clothes and in the front seats inside the car.

In the left extreme of the front seat, the [driver]’s seat, there was found a male corpse, lying on the side, its head pointing to the west and the face to the south. This corpse almost lies on the corpse of another person sitting in the front seat. Regarding the corpse found in the left extreme of the car, it is pointing west, the legs over the seat, and the lower limbs are lying on the floor of the vehicle. The right hand is holding the steering wheel. The corpse wore brown pants, dark blue jacket, and white chemise with a tie.

(It must be mentioned that due to the hour at which the facts took place and due to the lack of light—the car was parked in a dark place and its interior part could not be appreciated very well, nor the corpses. Therefore the use of lamps was necessary in order to see inside of the car.)

Under the front seat of the left part of the vehicle, near the space where the feet of the corpse were placed, a black weapon was found. That was a Pietro Beretta gun with serial number BER4471172. The gun was loaded with one cartridge. It was found that the corpse in the backseat of the car carried a black canvas fanny pack tied to the waist. When the pack was opened, inside were found the following objects: A dark blue card container that had a metallic badge with the legend of “Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, General Division of the Federal Judicial Police, Agent,” and the following letters, “PGR” with “Number 4772.”

Inside the container there was a dark blue card with the legend of the office of the attorney general of the republic with the national coat of arms, PGR,

and a legend that reads “Judicial Police Agent,” a card issued by the office of the attorney general of the republic to the name of Juan Aaron Rosas Gallegos. This card proved his capacity as a federal judicial police agent, and it bears a color photograph in the upper right-hand corner.

Also inside the said container, there were also found copies of two official letters and the permission to carry firearms. Also an official letter that proves the appointment of Juan Aaron Rosas Gallegos as a federal judicial police agent for investigation and judicial support.

Also found: a paper with telephone numbers; a note from his girlfriend; a card container with his application to the National Security Institute in the name of Juan Aaron Rosas Gallegos; a squared sheet with a love letter, a note by his girlfriend; various sheets of love notes; a passport with Number 96340016571 in the name of Juan Aaron Gallegos Rosas issued by the Ministry of Foreign Relations; a worn-out brown wallet that contained a driver’s license in the name of Juan Aaron Gallegos Rosas; a credit card issued by Confia; 2 fifty-pesos bills; 23 ten dollar bills; two one-dollar bills; 4 five-dollar bills; a round key-keeper that in the center has a ship and a dolphin in one side with the legend of La Paz, Baja California that keeps four metallic golden keys and three silvered; a magazine with ten nine-millimeter useful cartridges brand “Lager”;

The fanny pack had blood stains.

The following objects were picked from the corpse: a Citizen watch with its glass crushed; a metallic plaque with small chains that bears the name of Aaron Rosas G.P.G.R.I.N.C.D. 4772 with Number 7945373, OIH POS. P.J.F.O, a golden ring with the name of Miriam; and a white metal chain with a cross with an oval in the center.

Upon examining the corpse located in the front seat on the right side of the car, the following was found: a black fanny pack tied to his waist that contained a magazine with six unspent cartridges, brand 45 Auto; two of the same that are expended; a black leather wallet that contained a registration card in the name of Moreno Flores Israel; a telephone notebook; a bank card issued by Confia to the name of Israel Moreno Flores; 2 fifty-dollar bills; 5 twenty-dollar bills; 3 ten-dollar bills; 5 one-dollar bills; a dark blue card container that had a metallic badge with the legend of the “Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, General Division of the Federal Judicial Police, Agent Number 4702, PGR”; an official letter appointing Israel Moreno Flores as Agent of the judicial police of investigation and judicial support in the state of Baja California; airplane tickets in the name of Israel Moreno, Aaron Rosas, and Ernesto Ibarra from Tijuana to Mexico City, departure time at 6:25 p.m.; a reservation and confirmation to a flight in the name of Israel Moreno, Aaron Rosas, and Ernesto Ibarra dated September 13 with Aeromexico departing from Tijuana; a yellow metallic Chinese key-keeper with a swiss knife brand stainless; a small aluminum container of Vicks VapoRub; and a key-keeper with fox tail tied at one end.

Near the left foot of the corpse there was found a cold “Caballito” gun, 45 millimeters, with series number FAC2819. It was charged. Also, a piece of finger was found, which corresponds to the phalanx of someone’s hand. (The acting personnel ignored whose hand the piece of finger belonged to, as due to the conditions under which the search was carried out, it was very difficult to gather information about the injuries shown by the corpses.)

When the corpse of the driver was examined, the following was found: a silver Rolex watch on the wrist; a nail cutter; a key-keeper with seven keys; 2 ten-peso coins; 5 one-peso coins; 3 ten-cent coins. On the dashboard the following was found: a copy of the driving car number HELJ591031 issued to the name of Juan Arturo Hernandez Lizardi and a triangular personal identification card, Number 832. Both cards were perforated, seemingly by one of the bullets. The car keys were found switched to the car. They were held by a metallic key keeper with the legend “Apache,” and there was also found a plastic keeper holding two silver keys.

The eyewitnesses to the facts said that the shoot-out began from the place where the Union Circus is located and that there even exist bullet holes in the window glass of “Tok’s” restaurant. However, due to the hour, it was not possible to carry out a good on-site inspection of the place. There were found no more traces or clues related to the facts.

Arrest warrant,October 9, 1996

In fulfillment of the order issued on this date, today there was issued an arrest warrant for Ramon Arellano Felix; Fabian Martinez González (“El Tiburon”); Eduardo Leon (“El Abulon”); Isaac Contreras Ayala (“El Calaco”); Alfredo or Miguel Hodoyan (“El Lobo); Emilio Valdez Mainero (“Cabeza de Perro”) as the persons allegedly responsible for the commission of the crime of criminal association.

And for Ramon Arellano Felix; Francisco Cabrera Castro (“La Piedra”); Fabian Martínez Gonzalez (“El Tiburon”); Eduardo Leon (“El Abulon”); Domingo “N” (“N”); Isaac Contreras Ayala (“El Calaco”); Alfredo or Miguel Hodoyan, or Odoyan Palacio (“El Lobo”); and male person “N” (“El Capitan”) as the persons allegedly responsible for the commission of the crime of intentional homicide.

The physical description of Ramon Arellano Felix is the following: approximately 35 years old, 1.86 meters in height, athletic build but with a belly that stands out, approximately 135 kilos in weight, white skin, long to the shoulders light-brown hair that sometimes he ties back close to the head, and he wears a cap. Wide forehead, large almond-shaped eyes which are light brown in color. Medium-sized straight nose, large mouth, regular-size lips, and that as a distinguishing characteristic he always wears Nike clothing. His footwear is also of the same brand, and whenever he goes on a trip he wears his hair in a pony-tail. He wears transparent glasses such as those used for reading. Generally his apparel is that of a tourist and he looks like a gringo.

The physical description of Alfredo or Miguel Hodoyan, or Odoyan Palacio, “El Lobo,” is the following: 25 years old, slim, white skin, short straight light-brown hair, thick eyebrows, big light brown eyes, small straight nose. Medium-size mouth, regular lips, oval chin, as a distinguishing characteristic he is very slim.

The physical description of Emilio Valdez Mainero, “El C.P.” or “Cabeza de Perro,” is the following: 30 years old, 1.77 or 1.76 meters, heavy build, white skin, short straight hair which he combs back, medium sized forehead, medium eyebrows, big dark brown eyes, small straight nose, large mouth, regular-sized lips, oval chin. He is a law student.

The physical description of Isaac Contreras Ayala, “El Calaco,” is the following: 27 years old, 1.76 meters in height, slim build, white skin, short light-brown hair, medium-size forehead, regular-sized eyes which are light brown in color, small straight nose, large mouth, thin lips, and as a distinguishing mark he is very slim and stooped over.

The physical description of Fabian Martinez Gonzalez “El Tiburon,” is the following: 26 or 27 years old, 1.79 in height, slim build, light olive skin, short straight black hair, regular-sized forehead, regular eyebrows, big black eyes, straight nose, large mouth, regular-sized lips, oval chin. As a distinguishing characteristic he has a long, thin face and he has big teeth.

The physical description of Eduardo Leon, “El Abulon,” is the following: 26 years old, 1.78 in height, athletic build, light brown skin, short wavy dark brown hair, regular-sized forehead, bushy eyebrows, small flat nose, large mouth, thick lips, deft chin. From time to time he lets his beard, whiskers, and sideburns grow, without distinguishing characteristic.

The physical description of male “N,” “El Capitan,” is the following: approximately 40 years old, 1.68 in height, strong build, dark brown skin, short (straight) black hair, regular-sized forehead, regular eyebrows, regular-sized eyes which color is not known but they are not dear-colored, straight middle-sized nose, large mouth, regular-sized lips, round chin, and as a distinguishing characteristic he is a light brown person.

The physical description of Domingo “N,” is the following: 25 or 26 years old, 1.79 in height, slim build, light-brown skin, short black hair, regular-sized forehead, bushy eyebrows big light brown-colored eyes, small regular-sized nose, regular-sized mouth, regular-sized lips, oval chin, long slim face with no conspicuous distinguishing characteristics.

It is evident that brothers Ramon, Eduardo, Benjamin, and Francisco Javier, all of them surnamed Arellano Felix, have fled the administration of justice, as there have been issued different arrest warrants for them for the commission of different drug offenses.

Statement of Fausto Soto Miller, “El Cocinero" (the cook), dated September 27, 1996

“Today, it being approximately 900 hours and 30 minutes, I was detained by persons who identified themselves as agents of the Federal Judicial Police, as well as by personnel of the 15th Military Zone, when I was running out of the safe house that I had been taking care of for several days.”

El Cocinero wishes to indicate that inside the house were kept firearms, both short- and long-range and of different calibers, as well as magazines, marijuana, and a Chevrolet-brand Suburban vehicle, black in color, that said vehicle has bullet holes and was used by the armed group of the Arellano Felix brothers, of which he is a member, when they assassinated two military men and a private individual on the 22nd of July of the current year.

When he was running, he was carrying a firearm, .38 caliber Super Colt, serial number 2652. For this reason, he was immediately transferred to these offices. First of all, he wishes to indicate that his parents are named Felipe Soto Aguilar, 82 years old, and Agustina Miller de Soto, who passed away at the age of 56. His father lives at the domicile located at Calle Hidalgo, number 280, in the municipality of Navolato, Sinaloa. His parents had 12 children all with the last name of Soto Miller.

Approximately five to six months ago he separated from his wife since there was differences between them, mainly due to finances to support the family, and at present he knows that her parents help her financially. At present he is not living with anyone.

In the year 1973, when [el Cocinero] was about 12 years old and was in the fifth grade at a public school, “Alvaro Obregon,” located in front of the old Autonomous University in Sinaloa, he met Eduardo Arrellano Felix when he used to play in the school yard. He remembers that Eduardo was in the second or third year of junior high school, which was located in the same building.

After a few years he did not see Eduardo Arrellano Felix, but in the year of 1978, when Eduardo was studying medicine, he ran into him again. His friendship with Eduardo was his link to meet the other brothers and their parents.

One of Eduardo’s brothers is Francisco Arrellano Felix, who is called “Pancho” by his parents. El Cocinero remembers it was in 1980 when he met Pancho, when the latter would organize events such as afternoon musical (parties). In about 1986 or 1987, he knew that Pancho was the owner of a discotheque in Mazatlan, named “Frankie Oh." He knows that Pancho married or lived with a person named Victoria, whom they call “Vicky,” but he does not know when this happened.

[El Cocinero] also knows that Pancho had a lot of girlfriends, and he has learned through the media that at present Francisco is being detained in the high-security prison at Almoloya, and that the reason he is being detained is the illicit activities of his brothers, and he cannot provide more information in this regard.

The next Arrellano Felix brother is Benjamin, approximately 41 years old. He is engaged in illicit activities, such as drug trafficking. He first married Esperanza Martinez “N,” a native of Culiacan, but at this time el Cocinero cannot remember the year. At present he is married to Ruth Serrano Corona, approximately 36 years old. They have had two girls and a boy, and one of the girls is called “Baby,” approximately seven or eight years old. He does not remember the boy’s name, but he should be about three or four years old.

El Cocinero met Benjamin in about 1982 due to the friend-ship he had with his brother Pancho, when el Cocinero had a seafood restaurant in the city of Culiacan, on the Avenida Colon, number 577. At that place both Eduardo and Benjamin would come to eat.

Eduardo and Benjamin have a sister, Norma Leticia, approximately 42 or 43 years old. El Cocinero does not know her profession, but he knows that she is involved in construction, same trade in which her father was employed before his death, approximately in 1985, and the business was to buy lots and to build residential housing.

The next brother is Carlos, approximately 40 years old. El Cocinero does not know how he is employed at present, but he used to own a clothing boutique here in the city of Guadalajara, and in 1980, Carlos went to Mexico City to model clothes, which led el Cocinero to conclude that besides owning his business Carlos was a model.

The next brother is Eduardo, approximately 39 years old, who is a general medical practitioner. El Cocinero says he knows Eduardo practiced his profession from the time he graduated from the Autonomous University of Guadalajara in 1980 until the year of 1991. He was associated with other persons in a private clinic in the city of Culiacan. El Cocinero only remembers the name of Dr. Lomeli, who was the person who supported Eduardo during his early days in that profession, and he remembers that this place is to be found close to the central bus terminal. In about the year 1993, he knew that Eduardo had married but he does not know with whom nor where the event was held. This he found out by means of the friendship he has with a person called “El Grillo,” the latter being a person that runs Benjamin’s errands in the city of Tijuana, when Benjamin was living in a house in Otay Universidad, a house which he later found out had been seized by the office of the attorney general and at present is a kindergarten.

The next sister is Alicia Maria, approximately 37 to 38 years old, who studied a business course such as that of a secretary, studies which she did not use, since she helped her father to carry out activities in the construction business, when all of them were living in this city of Guadalajara. In about 1989, she married the dentist Demetrio Zamora Gaxiola. At present he does not know where they are living.

Next is Enedina, approximately 34 or 35 years old, secretarial studies. She studied at the same school as Alicia Maria. She married Luis Toledo Carrejo, about 36 or 37 years old. He is a public accountant who practiced his profession in the city of Tijuana for the company called “Toledo,” engaged in the construction of buildings, a company that was established by Benjamin Arellano Felix. El Cocinero remembers that about 1988, the company was responsible for the construction of a shopping center that contained innumerable shop locales, located at about Avenida Fundadores in the city of Tijuana. He does not know if this center has been seized by the office of the attorney general of the republic. Luis Toledo later went to live in the city of Guadalajara, where he probably does accounting and builds real estate, all of these financed by Benjamin Arellano Felix.

Next is Fernando, 32 or 33 years old. An engineer, he finished his studies in the city of Guadalajara. He practices his profession by buying lots of land in Guadalajara and constructing buildings on the land. El Cocinero knows this due to comments made by Eduardo. He knows that Fernando got married, but he does not know her name, and he knows that the couple has a girl approximately a year old. Fernando does not have a nickname.

Next is Ramon, 32 or 33 years old approximately, he studied up to high school. He is engaged in the trafficking of marijuana and cocaine, an activity which he carries out in the city of Tijuana, through the movements carried out by his criminal group. He is married to Angelica “N," 27 or 28 years old, a housewife. They have a daughter approximately 7 years old, who has the same name as her mother. The same persons at present time live in San Diego, California.

During the year 1992, el Cocinero reinitiated his friendship with Benjamin Arellano Felix. He was at a house on Hipodromo street, seemingly number eleven, in Colonia Hipodromo, in the city of Tijuana. It was owned by Emilio Ricardo Valdez Mainero, also known as “CP” and “five segundos.” He had this last nickname because he would sing the song “Clave Privada,” interpreted by the “Los Tucanes" music group, who were born in Tijuana. With regards to the first nickname, it was because he is very courteous.

A subject whose nickname is “El Grillo” (the cricket) arrived at this house in a white Nissan vehicle, which license plate he does not know, and took him to Cacho neighborhood, to a house on Hermosillo street, which number he does not remember. It was the house of Benjamin Arellano Felix. He was informed later that the office of attorney general had seized this property. El Cocinero says he arrived at this place without being blindfolded or lowered inside the vehicle.

There he met Benjamin, who was interested for him to be both his cook and the cook for his security staff. It was then that he began to render his services for said person. From the month of May 1992 until June or July of that same year, when they moved to property located in Colonia Mision del Sol, he had the duty to buy foodstuffs and to such end “El Grillo” would accompany him to the market. El Grillo was also in charge of blindfolding him so that he would not be able to know the precise location of the property. They stayed in that property for about four or five months, until the end of that year.

At the beginning of 1993, they moved again to a property located in Otay Universidad, and there he kept performing the same duties. They stayed in this property up to around the 26th of May, 1993, which was the day that Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo died, amongst other persons, in the shootout at the International Airport of Guadalajara.

After that date, they moved to a small house located in a lower-middle-class area around the neighborhood of “La Presa.” A total of four persons lived there, including el Cocinero, one named Javier, one named Benjamin, and another one whose nickname is “El Quemado” (burnt) or “chichharron,” since his face and his hands are burned. He said they stayed there for about two weeks because Benjamin decided so and departed in the company of El Chicharron and other persons, whose name he does not know, and went to another state, which name he does not know.

Javier and el Cocinero stayed in that property, and then el Cocinero left and moved to an apartment in San Diego that was occupied by his friend, whose name is Alejandro Hodoyan. He stayed in that place for about two weeks, and then returned to the city of Tijuana.

Around July 1993, he came back to Guadalajara to accompany his wife to the house of his mother-in-law. He moved into a house on Cardenal Street, number 42, and stayed in this place until October, 1994. During this time, he purchased a small trailer with equipment necessary to sell tortas and hamburgers, which cost him 10,000 pesos. He sold food from his stand in front of the church of Chapala from January 1994 until that October, when he went to Mexico City and stayed in the house of his brother Martin, located in Coyoacan Avenue, number 14, first floor.

Some days before he left for Mexico City, his friend Alejandro Odollan had called him from the city of San Diego and asked him to meet his brother, Miguel, whose code is “88,” and also a member of the security staff of Ramon Arellano Felix.

The day after he arrived in Mexico City, el Cocinero went to a restaurant known as “La Tablita,” located in Colonia Polanco, and met “El Tiburon" (the shark), who was in the company of Miguel. Ramon Arellano Felix was also there, and from this place they went to another one towards the east side of Colonia Polanco, to a house rented by Emilio Valdez . as a safe house, so that all of the members of the criminal group would have this place to lodge in when they arrived in Mexico City.

Two or three days later, Manolo Rico arrived, coming seemingly from the city of Puebla, and Ramon instructed el Cocinero on that special day to prepare a “marriscada” [a dish prepared with seafood]. The others were also there, and el Cocinero heard them talking about their plans to kill other persons, enemies of their interests, so that they would be the only powerful drug traffickers in that area.

They intended to kill Amado Carrillo. They had made an attempt to kill him, but had not located him. El Cocinero also heard that they had sent a special group in order to kill a Colombian whose name he does not remember, whom they also did not locate. He also heard that a week later they achieved their purpose by killing him.

El Cocinero states that they stayed in this property for about two or three weeks and once they achieved the result they wanted, it seems that all of them returned to the city of Tijuana, and el Cocinero was left at a shopping mall in Mexico City. Next day, he returned to Tijuana and stayed there for a week.

Then he travelled to the city of Tijuana and met with Ramon Arellano Felix in a house which location he does not know. He states that “El Avestruz” (the ostrich) and another subject whose nickname is “El 20” took him there, blindfolded and lowered inside the vehicle. He remembers that two weeks later the football world championship took place in Los Angeles and that he went to this championship in the company of his friend Alejandro Odallan and his family.

A week later, around the month of November, 1994, el Cocinero returned again to Guadalajara to rejoin his family. Once again, he dedicated himself to the business of selling tortas and hamburgers up to the month of April 1995. Around this date, a subject nicknamed “88” and “ZL,” whose name is Domingo, was in the city and called el Cocinero so that he would help him take a blue Cutlass Chevrolet to Mexico City. He drove this vehicle to Ciudad Satelite, and at the restaurant called “Sanborns” he met with “F.188” and “Cotorro Fernandez,” who also sometimes names himself Marcos, who is a friend of Emilio Valdez. From that place they took el Cocinero to a hotel room nearby in which he found the

person whose alias is “El Chilanor” and that was the first time he had met him and they both stayed in that place for three days before going to Tijuana. During that stay, that also lasted three days, all of them prepared themselves to go on vacation to the port of Acapulco.

Some days before, Emilio Valdez and the person whose alias is “El Cotorro Fernandez” had gone to Acapulco to lease a house to lodge all of them, and el Cocinero drove to that place a blue Cutlass vehicle in the company of “El Gil,” and Ramon Arellano went aboard another Silhouette vehicle, along with “El Tiburon” and “GL” and “ZL.” A small closed Dodge truck was driven by a subject whom he met for the first time, whose alias is “El Piedras,” surnamed Cabrera, in the company of “El Chilanor” and “m2” and that in the vehicle’s [truck bed] they took two motorcycles.

El Cocinero states that they stayed in Acapulco during both the Holy Week and the next week, and that he would prepare all of their meals. When they returned to Mexico City, Ramon Arellano stayed again in the house located in the southern area of the city. Two days later, Ramon Arellano instructed them all to return to the city of Tijuana. El Cocinero

returned again to Guadalajara, and only “ZL,” “El 99,” and “GL” stayed with Ramon. This took place during the month of April 1995.

El Cocinero states that under his own undertaking, during the month of July of that same year, he traveled to the city of Tijuana in order to get some money from Ramon or Benjamin to set up a small restaurant, since he had obtained the permit for such end. About that time, Ramon Arellano sent for el Cocinero so that he would keep preparing Ramon Arellano’s meals, and el Cocinero accepted to do so. He kept doing such duties until the beginning of that December.

During this time, “El Tiburon” arrived along with the person whose code is “99,” and they mentioned that one afternoon during the month of either October or November, when they were driving a golden-colored Silverado-type vehicle, they had a fight with two agents of the Judicial Police, who wanted to detain them since it was a seemingly stolen vehicle. El Tiburon shot them with a "cuerno tie chivo" (an AK-47) and killed them.

El Cocinero wishes to make note that during the month of August, Ramon went to the city of San Diego, California, to stay with his sister, Dr. Maria Isabel, and that el Cocinero returned to his duties around the month of November. It was then that he heard a subject, whose nickname is “El C.H/“ or “El Charley,” say that along with some of his friends of the Logan neighborhood, he went to Colonia Playas and had a shootout with another group, and that one person was killed, and that the persort whose alias was “El Chiquilin” (the small one) was injured, so that “C.H.” would have full control of the drugs around said area and to live in peace with his group.

El Tiburon commented to all of the persons who were in the house of Ramon that they killed a photographer of a daily newspaper called HI Mexicano because he tried to blackmail them with photographs he had taken on the day the “Smeke” and “Marroquin” were killed. This had taken place a year before, and a group of “cholos” had taken part in it, headed by “C.H.” and “El Tiburon,” and one of the members of the enemy group had died.

At the end of that year, el Cocinero retired himself from the duties he performed for Ramon Arellano and returned to Guadalajara because Ramon did not let el Cocinero visit his family. At the end of the month of July, he received a phone call at the house of his mother-in-law from el Tiburon, saying that el Cocinero had to go Mexico City to meet el Tiburon. On July 15, at about 16 hours, el Cocinero met with el Tiburon in Guadalajara. Aboard a grey Jetta Volkswagen they went to the “Gigante” shopping mall located on Patria Avenue. They bought food for eight days and went to a place located on Chopin Street, and Ramon Arellano Felix was already there with all of the others. Immediately, el Cocinero started to prepare the meal for all of them.

He noticed through their comments that they were looking for a property allegedly belonging to a person named Amado Carillo, whom they wanted to kill. The next morning, the group went out carrying with them long- and short-range weapons; this group consisted of “ZU” whose name is Domingo; “El Abulon”; “Mochomo”; “Chuta”; “Robocop”; “RIO,” whose name is Ricardo; “El 20,” who is from the Logan neighborhood; “El Pelon” (the bald), whose surname is Verber; and “El Compadre.”

(Sometimes in Tijuana, Ramon Arellano would use an escort of about two vehicles with four or five subjects aboard each of them, all of them from the Logan neighborhood, headed by the “C.H.” or “El Tres Dos,” whose name is David Barron Corona, head of a group of subjects of the Logan neighborhood in San Diego, California. El Cocinero remembers that there is another subject whose nickname is “El Chiquilin,” who is part of the escort of Ramon Arellano, whose physical characteristics are the following; nationality of the U.S., he speaks solely in English, about 30 years old, 1.84 meters high, thin build, fair complexion, a haircut like those used in the Logan neighborhood, straight and black hair, ample forehead, bushy eyebrows, black and big eyes, a slightly straight nose and big mouth, regular lips, regular-shaped chin, and as a particular feature he has tattoos of those used by persons from the Logan neighborhood, but el Cocinero does not remember what kind of tattoos these were.)

This continued for three days. Ramon Arellano Felix stayed in the company of a person whose name is “El Chico" (the small one), a friend of Ramon. Both of them would go out aboard a big motorcycle and return, but el Cocinero did not know the purpose of these outings. On the afternoon of the 22nd, he remembers that “El Chico” turned on the radio, and all of them heard that a shootout had taken place around Vallarta Avenue in front of a graveyard. It was mentioned on the radio that this had been a shootout between men from the armed forces and civilians and that there had been some persons who had been injured and some had been killed. At that moment, Ramon called all of them and told them that they had done wrong, since this shootout had taken place against men from the armed forces and this was not the purpose of their stay in this city. Regarding the reason for the confrontation, el Cocinero could not accurately know, since everybody said it had been a mistake. Ramon told them they had to leave for Mexico City and from there they had to go to Tijuana.

Between the 23rd and 24th day, the wife of Ramon Arellano, Angelica “N,” arrived alone at the Camino Real Hotel. Several evenings later, Ramon Arellano, his wife, and two ladies who were with the latter got into a green Jetta. “El Champagne” drove. All the escorts had AK-47 guns and short-range firearms of different calibers with them, and they went onboard a metallic gray Golf with license plates from the state of Jalisco. “El Chuta” was sitting on the rear right seat. “Robocop” was sitting on the front seat. And “El 20” was the driver, while el Cocinero was sitting on the left rear seat. On the way to Chapala, they were intercepted at Calle Cristiania, in the zone where the restaurants are located, by two persons in a Silverado. Everybody in the two vehicles, except the ladies, got out and shot against the persons in the Silverado, thus wounding those persons, and running away after those events took place.

The next day, through news in the local newspapers, they knew that the persons they had wounded were elements of the Federal Judicial Police. Everybody received money in dollars for their expenses. El Cocinero received $200 and 1000 pesos, and he received the instruction to buy train tickets so that Ramon, “El Chico," and el Cocinero could leave Mexico City.

Statement of Francisco Cabrera Castro, “La Piedra," rendered on September 21, 1996, before the agent of the federal public prosecutor in Mexico City.

At about seven o’clock in the morning on Friday, September 13, “El Tiburon" called to Ti-

juana by telephone to Cabrera Castro’s domicile. “El Tiburon” asked him to arrive at two o’clock in the afternoon at the airport in Mexico City in order to pick them up, since he was going to arrive with various persons. At about 40 minutes past one o’clock, he noticed “El Lobo," “El Abulon," and “El Calaco” were waiting for him' outside the domestic arrivals gate at the airport. They had come from Tijuana. “El Lobo” asked him to wait a minute as his friend “El Tiburon” was about to arrive from Mexicali.

When “El Tiburon” arrived, accompanied by a man called Domingo, code “Z1,” they all boarded a gray Ichi Van and went to Colonia Polanco, where they stopped at a restaurant called “Sushito."

(Later, they went to a hotel and got into a blue Spirit. They went back to the airport.

where they began to tail a cab that had picked up a person that el Tiburon had identified.) They started chasing the cab on Rio Consulado Avenue to downtown. By the Aragon metro station, he heard “El Calaco” telling “El Tiburon”: “Now, here, here,” meaning that they should approach the cab and shoot the passengers, and “El Tiburon” replied, “No, let’s wait.”

By the restaurant “Toks,” on Insurgentes Avenue, the cab was in the slow speed lane, that is to say, next to the sidewalk, driving at seven or eight kilometers per hour. At that time, the vehicles almost did not move. “El Tiburon” ordered the driver to pass the cab on the left side, and when he was driving beside the cab, “El Tiburon” pulled the trigger, as well as “El Calaco” — both of them shot at the passengers of the cab. He realized that “El Tiburon” had half his body out of the car and shot, while “Calaco” only had his head and hands out of the vehicle to shoot.

“El Tiburon” ordered the driver to pass the cab, and by a store named “OXO” both “El Tiburon” and “El Calaco” shot at the front of the cab. Then they drove off at 100 kilometers per hour, and when they were by Gomez Farias Avenue, they turned right and parked very near Circuito Interior. Almost immediately after, the Cutlass and all of its passengers arrived and parked behind the Spirit. Both “El Lobo” and “El Calaco” put their guns on the rear seat, while the passengers of the second vehicle gave their guns to “El Calaco” and “El Lobo,” who set them also on the seat.

Regarding the attempt against the passengers of the yellow taxi, they not receive no money, even when “El Tiburon” had promised him to send him money.

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