HomeNewsBrief'Sinaloa Cartel' Operatives Face Death Penalty in Malaysia

'Sinaloa Cartel' Operatives Face Death Penalty in Malaysia


A trio of Mexican brothers, thought to be Sinaloa Cartel operatives, await execution by hanging in Malaysia following a conviction on drug trafficking charges.

Luis Alfonso, Jose Regino, and Simon Gonzalez Villarreal were arrested at a laboratory in 2008, where authorities say they found $15 million worth of methamphetamine. Lawyers for the Mexicans have maintained that they had nothing to do with the illegal drug production at the lab, but an appeal to have the conviction tossed out was denied earlier this week.

The three brothers are natives of Culiacan, Sinaloa, a region with deep historic links to the drug trade. They had been lifelong brickyard employees, before receiving the offer to move abroad a little more than three years ago. “I think they had no idea what they were getting into,” Israel Gonzalez Villarreal, an older brother still living in Mexico, told the Associated Press.

The brothers are thought to have been working for the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most aggressive Mexican organizations in forming links to Asian suppliers of meth and precursor chemicals used in its production.

The Gonzalez Villarreal brothers were not known as members of organized crime while in Mexico, though authorities say that it’s not uncommon for relative novices to be placed in charge of meth labs, as the operation is relatively simple.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.


What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.


Related Content


Despite the pandemic’s economic fallout being felt throughout the Riviera Maya, cartels have continued their extortion schemes in Mexico's popular…


There is one element that has proven vital to the operational success of international drug trafficking organizations the world over,…

COCAINE / 30 AUG 2022

Cocaine in Australia remains difficult to access, with traffickers either selling low-quality or entirely fake doses.

About InSight Crime


Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.


InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.


Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …


InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…


Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…