A former leader of the Gulf Cartel in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, has been sentenced to 37 years behind bars.
José Tiburcio Hernández Fuentes, also known as The Jinx (El Gafe), was arrested along with four other cartel members in April 2015. The arrests caused chaos in Reynosa, leaving three people dead and two wounded as some 60 cartel members burned cars and buses to create roadblocks in an attempt to break them free.
A federal judge found Hernández guilty of organized crime, money laundering and possession of a military firearm. In addition to the prison sentence, he was ordered to pay a fine equivalent to 1,700 days’ minimum salary.
The trafficker began his criminal career in 2006 under Juan Manuel Rodríguez, who was detained in June 2014.
He was appointed head of a faction in Reynosa and in 2009 head of five criminal cells dedicated to the theft of fuels, drug distribution, extortion and kidnapping.
He gained full control of Reynosa in 2012, equipped gang members with high powered weapons, and engaged in a war against Los Zetas, a former armed wing of the Gulf Cartel.
Hernández is now interned in Altiplano maximum security prison in México state.
Reynosa is a place of crucial strategic importance for traffickers and other criminal actors as it sits on the Texas border. In the chaos that ensued in 2015 following the arrests, the United States closed two border crossing for 48 hours.