Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Chicago’s ‘cartel wives’ in court

Pedro Flores appeared before a judge to testify on behalf of his wife Vivianna Lopez, who he says was promised immunity by the feds in exchange for cooperation from him and his twin brother, Margarito, to rat on El Chapo. Pedro and Margarito Flores were handed a 14-year prison sentences in 2015 but were released under the witness protection program in 2020. When they were charged in 2021 with money laundering related to their husbands' millions, the Flores wives filed a motion to dismiss, claiming the government promised them immunity. A parade of government witnesses said there was no such arrangement.
After Chicago cocaine kingpins Pedro Flores and Margarito Flores were busted in 2008 for their dealings with the Sinaloa drug cartel and leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, their wives took lavish trips to the Caribbean and Europe that were paid for with drug cash they got in the mail. Vivianna Lopez and Valerie Gaytan used drug money for the trips in 2018 and 2019, flying to Las Vegas for a Jennifer Lopez concert and to the Turks and Caicos islands, Dubai, Greece and Italy. The wives blew $20,000 to $30,000 in cash per trip.

In exchange for their cooperation, the Flores twins got light sentences of 14 years in prison.
Lopez, the wife of Pedro Flores, and Gaytan, the wife of Margarito Flores, were charged in federal court in Chicago with helping to stash hundreds of thousands in drug money over a dozen years. They had claimed they had been granted immunity.
Drug money paid for schools for children, Lopez’s student loans and even her exercise bike.