Vicente Zambada Niebla, son of 'El Mayo Zambada' no longer in U.S. prison

03/05/2021

Vicente Zambada Niebla - 'El Vicentillo', son of 'El Mayo Zambada', the star witness in the trial of 'El Chapo' Guzmán and "repentant" member of the Sinaloa cartel was released from a federal prison on an unspecified date, despite being sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2019. No authorities have disclosed where he is being held.

Vicente Zambada Niebla - 'El Vicentillo', son of 'El Mayo Zambada'. Photo: Agencies
Vicente Zambada Niebla - 'El Vicentillo', son of 'El Mayo Zambada'. Photo: Agencies

Mexican national Vicente Zambada Niebla, who testified in the drug trafficking trial against Joaquín "el Chapo" Guzmán Loera, a former partner of his father Ismael "el Mayo" Zambada García in the Sinaloa Cartel, is no longer in the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP). "Vicente Zambada Niebla and Jesus Zambada Garcia (his uncle) are no longer in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons," BOP spokesman Emery Nelson told the Univision network.

Nelson did not specify when Zambada Niebla, who was arrested in Mexico in 2009 and was his father's right-hand man, was released and what his legal situation is, nor where "Mayo" Zambada's son is being held. "The BOP does not provide additional information about inmates who are not in its custody or who have been released from its custody," the spokeswoman also told the Hispanic network.

Vicente Zambada Niebla - 'El Vicentillo', son of 'El Mayo Zambada' was released from federal prison on an unspecified date, despite being sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2019. No authorities have disclosed where he is being held.

Zambada Niebla, known as El Vicentillo, was sentenced in federal court in Chicago to 15 years in prison in May 2019, a punishment that was reduced as a result of his cooperation with U.S. authorities, Univision recalled. He further indicated that it was speculated at the time that upon his release around 2022 he would become a protected witness. However, he added, the U.S. Marshals Service, which protects those who change their identity after testifying against drug lords, terrorists, mobsters or gang leaders, did not provide information on the matter.

"The Marshals Service neither confirms nor denies any information about anyone who may or may not be participating in the Witness Security Program. We also do not provide details about prisoner movements," spokesman James P. Stossel told Univision in a statement.

The agency also did not confirm whether Jesus "the King" Zambada (Vicente's uncle), Lucero Guadalupe Sanchez and Jorge Milton Cifuentes are under its protection. All of them testified at Joaquín Guzmán's trial, which contributed to the summer 2019 sentencing of "El Chapo" to life imprisonment.

In January 2019, Zambada Niebla sat in the witness chair and recounted what he has known all too well since childhood about the structure and business details of the criminal organization that his father Ismael, one of the most wanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Guzmán Loera founded.

By Mexicanist