Felix Gallardo, the "Boss of Bosses" drug lord, is sentenced to house arrest

Due to his age and the state of his health, the Seventh District Court for Federal Criminal Proceedings in Mexico City concluded that "El Jefe de Jefes" can be detained in the comfort of his own home.

Felix Gallardo, the "Boss of Bosses" drug lord, is sentenced to house arrest
Mexican drug trafficker Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo. Image: Agencies

After years of litigation, a federal judge in Jalisco granted house arrest to Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, "El Jefe de Jefes", one of the leaders of the Guadalajara cartel. He must first guarantee the use of an electronic bracelet. On Friday, September 9, the head of Mexico City's Seventh District Court for Federal Criminal Proceedings decided that, due to his age and state of health, the alleged drug trafficker can serve his sentences from his home, as long as he uses an electronic geolocation device.

However, the Attorney General's Office (FGR) challenged before a Federal Court the judge's decision to grant "The Boss of Bosses" home detention. The agency's disagreement could halt the drug trafficker's release from the state prison in Puente Grande, Jalisco, for the time being. It will be in the next few days when the magistrates will decide whether or not to accept the prosecutors' demand and whether to confirm or revoke the benefit granted to the drug lord on Friday.

Since April, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, "The Boss of Bosses", has been trying to serve his 40-year prison sentence at home instead of behind bars. The magistrates of a federal court in Mexico City refused to analyze Felix Gallardo's request to be sentenced to house arrest for reasons of age and health.

Felix Gallardo has been imprisoned since 1989 for the death of a DEA agent.

With his request, the drug lord, who has been imprisoned since 1989, was trying to put an end to the conflict between federal courts that have refused to analyze the appeal he filed to serve his sentence for drug trafficking and the murder of a DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena Salazar, alleging that the case does not fall under their jurisdiction.

One of Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo's main justifications is that his serious health condition and his advanced age translate into a disadvantage to comply with the objective of social reinsertion, which the law establishes for those in prison. On February 13, "The Boss of Bosses" lost another appeal against the 40-year prison sentence he was sentenced to for stockpiling weapons, bribery, and crimes against health, in the form of illegally introducing cocaine into the country.

The "Boss of Bosses," drug lord Felix Gallardo, is put under house arrest.
The "Boss of Bosses," drug lord Felix Gallardo, is put under house arrest. Image: Archive file by Agencies

Drug lord Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo denies killing agent Enrique Camarena

Drug trafficker Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, known as the Boss of Bosses, denied in an interview having participated in the murder of U.S. agent Enrique Camarena in 1985, a crime for which he has been imprisoned for more than three decades.
"I don't know why I am being linked, because I never met him. I repeat: I am not a gun person. I am very sorry because I know he was a good man," he told the Telemundo network from the maximum security prison of Puente Grande, in the Mexican state of Jalisco.

Felix Gallardo, the founder of the Guadalajara Cartel, has been incarcerated since 1989 for the murder of Camarena, an agent of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), although he was not sentenced until 2017 when he was given 37 years in prison. The capo gave the US network his first interview from prison, in which he appeared in visibly deteriorated health at 75 years old.

"My health is terrible, my family is digging a hole for me to be buried in a tree, I have no prognosis for my life," he said. The Chief of Chiefs, who remains isolated in a maximum security cell, appeared seated in a wheelchair, "completely" blind in one eye and deaf in one ear, and supported at times by an oxygen cylinder.

He said that he has been "badly treated" in prison, denounced that he was arrested "without any arrest warrant" and criticized that 32 years in jail "is an eternity for a man who did not commit any crime". Furthermore, he assured that he never met the capos Ernesto Fonseca, released in 2017, nor Rafael Caro Quintero, a fugitive from justice, with whom he led the Guadalajara cartel in the 1970s and 1980s.

"I don't know them. On the street we never met. These people and I have never talked about it," he said.

He even denied the existence of "cartels in Guadalajara" and assured that before his capture he maintained "a family life" and that he was dedicated to agriculture, and had some pharmacies and two old hotels.
He said that he has never thought of a "jailbreak" nor does he intend to take advantage of the release that Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is preparing for Mexican prisoners over 75 years of age.

"I am a corpse that is no longer waiting to be buried at the root of a tree. I am not asking anything of the gentleman," he said.

Felix Gallardo and his associates Ernesto Fonseca and Rafael Caro Quintero founded and led the Guadalajara cartel in the 1970s and 1980s, one of the first Mexican criminal organizations to work with Colombian drug mafias.
DEA agent Enrique Camarena and Mexican pilot Alfredo Zavala were kidnapped by that cartel on February 7, 1985, in Guadalajara, capital of the state of Jalisco, and subsequently murdered, and their bodies were found in the state of Michoacán.

Felix Gallardo was arrested in 1989 and after spending more than 20 years incarcerated in the Altiplano maximum security prison in the State of Mexico, he was moved to the Puente Grande maximum security prison in Jalisco.