Local April 10, 2012 | 7:23 am

Dominican Republic reels from Sinaloa Cartel’s tentacles

Santo Domingo.- The arrest of the pilot of Sinaloa Cartel chief Joaquin “Chapo” Guzmán and another alleged member of that organization, brings to 10 the number of Mexican narcotics traffickers who’ve been detained and expelled from the country in the last 14 months, linked to the Mexican fugitive.

Seven of them have been extradited to the United States, including the pilot and Guzmán confidant, and his companion, caught several days ago in a hotel in Santo Domingo.

A source cited by newspaper Listin identified them only by their last names Chavez Ramirez and Alvarado Torres.

The Sinaloa Cartel’s activities in the country’s North region were detected by local (DNCD) and U.S. (DEA) antinarcotics agencies around two years ago, after they found chemicals to dilute drugs and pharmaceutical businesses financed by alleged Mexican narcotics traffickers, said DNCD president Rolando Rosado at that time.

But it was from the information provided by the Mexican Luis Fernando Bertulucci Castillo, known as “Capitan Rey,” captured July 2011, that local and U.S. agents detected the Sinaloa Cartel’s tentacles in the country.

The Mexican Bertulucci was arrested together with his compatriot Marwan Chebli Chebli, and Dominicans Jose Antonio Contreras, Leonel Gomez Guzmán and Miguel Antonio Rosa, who were also wanted in Florida and Massachusetts.

The group was said to be part of the feared Mexican criminal gang, headed by one of the most wanted and one of the world’s wealthiest fugitives.

Rosado reiterated that “structures” of the Sinaloa Cartel are in the country, as evidenced by the arrest of several Mexicans with alleged links to that group. He said their presence is the result of the pressure brought to bear on Mexico, Colombia and Central America cartels, which in his view forced them to seek alternate transport routes to the U.S. and Europe.

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