U.S. Actions Targeting Transnational Criminals for Illicit Fentanyl Activity – United States Department of State

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Luis Javier Benitez Espinoza is a fentanyl trafficker for the Sinaloa Cartel engaged in the movement of vast quantities of fentanyl from Mexico into the U.S. in pill and powder form.

In approximately September 2022, Luis Javier Benitez Espinoza, a/k/a “El Fourteen,” began negotiating the sale of fentanyl pills to a buyer in the U.S.  During those negotiations, Benitez Espinoza said that he worked for the “Chapitos” and specifically discussed his prior work with Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar and Oscar Noe Medina Gonzalez, a/k/a “Panu.”  In approximately December 2022, in exchange for wire transfers amounting to approximately $4,600, Benitez Espinoza provided approximately 10,000 fentanyl pills to couriers who brought those pills to San Diego where, in approximately January 2023, the pills were provided to a buyer.  The fentanyl pills were subsequently seized by the DEA.

On April 4, 2023, a federal grand jury sitting in the Southern District of New York returned an indictment against Luis Javier Benitez Espinoza and others charging them with engaging in a Fentanyl Importation Conspiracy, Fentanyl Trafficking Conspiracy, Possession of Machineguns & Destructive Devices, Conspiracy to Possess Machineguns & Destructive Devices, and Money Laundering Conspiracy.

The U.S. Department of State is offering a REWARD OF UP TO $1 MILLION for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Luis Javier Benitez Espinoza.

If you have information, please contact the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration via email at ChapitosTips@dea.gov.  If you are located outside of the U.S., you may also visit the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  If in the U.S., you can contact the local DEA office in your city.

ALL IDENTITIES ARE KEPT STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.

Government officials and employees are not eligible for rewards.

U.S. Department of State

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