Mérida’s soccer team was bought years ago with money from the Sinaloa Cartel

Tirso ‘El Futbolista‘ Martinez Sanchez, a distributor of cocaine in the United States for drug cartels in Mexico, detailed on Wednesday Dec. 12, during the “Chapo” Guzmán trial in New York City, the millionaire investments he made in Mexican professional soccer teams with money from the Sinaloa Cartel.

Witness in the trial against Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, Tirso said he was the owner of professional soccer teams in the cities of Querétaro, Celaya, Irapuato, La Piedad and Mérida, all of which he acquired with drug trafficking money.

Asked by defense attorney William Purpura, Martinez stated that he acquired the Venados de Yucatán professional soccer team for between 600 and 700 thousand US dollars, and the Reboceros de La Piedad for 2.2 million US dollars. He also pointed out that he later sold the La Piedad team in 2004 for 10 million dollars. After paying off players and employees, Martinez achieved a net profit of four million dollars for that transaction.

Once the Mexican Football Federation discovered in 2006 that Martinez, suspected of participating in the drug trade, owned soccer franchises, they proposed to buy his assets in this sport for 10 million dollars.

Known among other nicknames as ‘El Futbolista‘, precisely because of his love for this sport, Martinez managed to obtain gross income of between 40 and 50 million dollars for his activities in drug trafficking between the years 2000 and 2003.

Martinez, who according to his own testimony worked for the Sinaloa and Ciudad Juárez cartels between 1995 and 2003, was also fond of cockfights, where he used to make of bets of up to $100,000 US dollars in one single fight. And according to his testimony, he lost between two and three million dollars betting in cockfights throughout Mexico.

(Photo: periodicocorreo.com)
(Photo: periodicocorreo.com)

Also, his fortune allowed him to acquire a restaurant in Tijuana, four clothing businesses, a plane, horses, cars, as well as a car dealership in Los Angeles California, and a restaurant in the state of Illinois.

“I spent all the money on gambling, properties, cars, houses, parties and women,” Martinez said. He declared that he only has five assets left, all in Mexico: a house, a ranch and three plots, with a value of between 2.5 and three million US dollars.

Arrested in 2014 in León, Guanajuato, Mexico, Martinez was extradited a year later to the United States, where he pleaded guilty to crimes for which he could get a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a minimum of 10 years in prison.

Because he has served as a witness collaborating with the prosecution, Martinez could receive a reduced sentence. Although, he must also pay a fine of two million US dollars.

TYT Newsroom with information from periodicocorreo.com



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