Real Estate

Dallas real estate agent helps take down Mexican drug cartel

But he’s not quite the hero he appears to be

A Dallas-area real estate agent played an instrumental role in bringing down the Dallas cell of a “violent new Mexican drug cartel,” but he isn’t quite the white knight that it appears he might be.

The Dallas Morning News has the details on real estate agent Nicolas Salinas and his role in the “dismantling” of the Dallas-based operations of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which sells methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine throughout the U.S.

According to the Dallas Morning News report, Salinas “worked closely” with Oscar “La Momia” Soto-Cabezas, who federal agents say was in charge of the Dallas and Atlanta branches of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

From the Dallas Morning News:

Salinas, 36, worked closely with Soto-Cabezas and purchased a house for him in 2009 on Gibbs Williams Road in South Dallas to stash drugs, records show.

“At the direction of Soto-Cabezas, Salinas placed ownership of the residence in his name to avoid law enforcement detection,” court records said.

Salinas, a U.S. citizen, has been a licensed real estate agent in Texas for more than a decade, records show. His license expired in January 2014.

But Salinas was arrested and subsequently convicted for attempting to smuggle 9 kilograms of methamphetamine into the U.S. for the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

After being arrested, Salinas helped the authorities and provided information about the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Again from the Dallas Morning News:

Salinas cooperated with the government and told agents that Soto-Cabezas, who lives in Mexico, was in charge of the operation. Salinas said he made about five or six previous trips to Mexico to deliver drug money to Soto-Cabezas and return with methamphetamine.

The cartel used him and other drivers to transport the drugs, kept in hidden vehicle compartments, from Mexico to Dallas via the Laredo border crossing, agents said.

With Salinas’ assistance, federal agents began looking into the Jalisco cartel’s operations in Dallas in 2012.

Again from the Dallas Morning New:

In May 2014, DEA agents arrested several members in North Texas and seized about 100 pounds of methamphetamine. They also seized two meth labs, about $100,000 in cash, one bulletproof vest, drug ledgers, 12 firearms and six vehicles, according to court records.

Despite helping the Feds, Salinas still received a sentence of nearly six years in prison for his transgressions.

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