The wife of a drug kingpin who used to work in McDonald's and was once considered El Chapo's most trusted allies has been jailed for stashing millions of dollars of illicit drug profits.
Valerie Gaytan, 47, is married to Margarito Flores – who along with his twin brother Pedro were the most prolific cocaine dealers Chicago had ever seen until their arrest in 2008.
The brothers have previously discussed how working at the fast food chain gave them insight into how to run their business.
READ MORE: McDonald's cooks who 'took down El Chapo' say they 'modelled' drug empire on restaurant
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The Flores' twins' drugs empire grew and grew until they were approached by federal law enforcement officials in Monterrey, Mexico, in 2008, when they agreed to cooperate against their supplier – Joaquin ' El Chapo ' Guzman.
They did this in return for admitting to importing huge amounts of cocaine and receiving reduced 14-year sentences, and it looks like the ' Cartel queens' could be joining them behind bars.
The gangland wives proudly branded themselves as the "Wives of the Cartel," in the media, and according to Boderland Beat they were indicted back in 2021 on money laundering charges after prosecutors alleged they hid millions of dollars in drug proceeds from the US government.
Prosecutors said the pair siphoned off millions of dollars and hid it in secret locations, including under floor boards.
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Federal law enforcement officials said they hid in excess of $5million between them. "[Gaytan] spent those proceeds between 2008 and 2020 in ways she knew were designed to conceal the fact that it was leftover drug money," prosecutors alleged in a sentencing memorandum for Gaytan filed earlier this month.
The court filing continued, "She did so even after she and her co-defendant, Vivianna Lopez, turned in approximately $4 million in drug proceeds that was represented to the government as being the remaining cash from the husbands' drug operation. This was false, however."
Earlier this year, Gaytan and Lopez pleaded guilty to money laundering charges and on Monday, a judge sentenced Gaytan to three and a half years in prison.
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