KEY POINTS

  • An informant for the Sinaloa Cartel has received reduced prison time for cooperating with authorities to put El Chapo away 
  • He says he smuggled 30 to 50 tons of cocaine over the American border during his time with the cartel
  • He was sentenced to seven years, four of which he has already served  

Sinaloa Cartel informant Tirso Martinez Sanchez has received considerable leniency in his sentencing for his cooperation in putting away former cartel and drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo” Guzman.

The New York Post reports that Martinez, the brains behind the Sinaloa Cartel’s prolific cocaine transportation network, was given a total prison sentence of seven years, four of which he has already served, in his conviction for charges of distributing and importing cocaine into the United States.

Martinez’s testimony was instrumental in putting away his former employer,  detailing how the narcotics were moved through Mexico into the U.S. He told jurors about how he designed train cars with compartments to hide cocaine and the way workers would add a few inches of oil into the trains to throw off drug-sniffing dogs.

During his sentencing, federal Judge Brian Cogan recognized Martinez’s cooperation and cited it as the reason for the light sentence. “The value of his cooperation, I just can’t imagine how it could have been greater,” Cogan said. “It was truly extraordinary in every sense of the word. It was of the highest value to the government. One of the reasons that the value of his cooperation was so high is because his position in the organization was so high... He was what I call a senior executive.”

Martinez claimed he made $20 million working for the cartel and was not accused of any violence, smuggling 30 to 50 tons of cocaine worth up to $800 million over the border, 15 of which found their way into destinations in New York City over the years. For his own part, Martinez claims has apologized for his involvement in what was very often a brutal and bloody enterprise.

“My remorse is sincere. So much so that many years ago I had already changed my life. I stopped trafficking drugs. I got off that bad path. I stopped using drugs and alcohol,” Martinez said.

El Chapo is currently serving life plus 30 years in federal prison.

A photo released by Uruguay's navy showing 4,418 kilograms of cocaine seized at Montevideo's port A photo released by Uruguay's navy showing 4,418 kilograms of cocaine seized at Montevideo's port Photo: Uruguay's Navy / HO