In a rare criminal case involving the Kingpin Act, a U.S. judge sentenced the daughter of Mexican drug lord “El Mencho” to two years and six months in prison on Friday.
Jessica Johanna Oseguera González, also known as “La Negra,” had pleaded with Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to release her after more than 15 months in prison so she could return to her daughter, age 5, and older son at their family home in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Prosecutors argued for a four-year, three-month prison sentence, claiming the 34-year-old California native lied about her involvement with her father, drug lord Rubén Oseguera Cervantes, who is still on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Most Wanted list, and his drug dynasty, the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación, or CJNG.
La Negra will be given credit for time served in prison. After she completes her time in prison, the judge ordered her to be on supervised release for two years.
According to court records, she is almost required to pay a fine of $20,500. Prosecutors had requested a fine of at least $25,000 and up to $5 million, claiming she had access to assets. Agents believe CJNG is a multibillion-dollar global drug network that has been detected on all continents except Antarctica. Her lawyer disagreed, claiming she would be unable to pay any fine.
In March, La Negra pleaded guilty to violating the Kingpin Act for her involvement with businesses linked to her father, who was designated a kingpin by the US Treasury Department in 2015. This included assisting in the management or promotion of a sushi restaurant, a cabana resort, a tequila label, an agricultural company, and an advertising firm. La Negra, on the other hand, attempted to distance herself from her father and his global drug empire.
CJNG is a violent organization with an estimated 5,000 members that is frequently blamed for mass graves, kidnappings, acid baths, and videotaped beheadings. Prosecutors accused La Negra of lying to the probation officer who prepared a report for the judge on her legal and social history before her sentencing. They claim they have evidence that she provided bookkeeping services for the “ruthless and violent” cartel at her father’s request. Prosecutors allege in court documents that El Mencho met with his daughter at the resort in 2011 and directed her to review drug accounting ledgers “so that she could confront a cartel member who was suspected of stealing from the cartel.”
La Negra claims she hasn’t seen her father since she was 11 and living in San Francisco. He was deported in 1996, she claims, and he was separated from her mother. El Mencho was deported for the third time, after serving more than four years in prison for selling heroin to two undercover officers in Los Angeles.
That is the only mention of her father in her attorney’s 100-page memo pleading for leniency. Her father, also known as “Nemesio,” is never named, and there is no mention of his cartel. El Mencho is one of America’s most wanted fugitives, with a $10 million reward for information leading to his capture. CJNG, along with the notorious Sinaloa Cartel, is blamed for the majority of illegal drugs saturating the United States and killing more than 83,000 people in a 12-month period ending in July 2020.
Prosecutors claim they have a key witness who would have testified about seeing La Negra and her father at the 2011 meeting as well as another meeting several months after the deadly shootout with law enforcement if La Negra had gone to trial.
The second meeting, according to the witness, took place at a ranch, where El Mencho and his daughter discussed “a discrepancy about money purportedly owed to the cartel and reflected in ledgers” handled by La Negra. Several court documents in the case are still sealed, and those that are available don’t go into detail about where the alleged meeting took place or who the cartel leader blamed for the missing money.
Prosecutors contended that La Negra was aware she was in the wrong because she spent years attempting to avoid Kingpin Act sanctions, including moving the sushi restaurant and dissolving two businesses. They claim she also renamed the cabana resort, later called Cabañas La Loma, to try and fool U.S. investigators.