Money manager for "El Chapo" sentenced to 8 years in prison

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A top money manager for notorious drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman was sentenced to eight years in prison in federal court Friday. (WLS)

An ABC7 I-Team Investigation
A top money manager for notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was sentenced to eight years in prison in federal court Friday.

Edgar Valencia Ortega had pleaded guilty to laundering money for the cartel responsible for 80 percent of Chicago's street drugs.

The world's richest drug dealer Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is nearly the last man standing in the Chicago Sinaloa Cartel case.

Ortega is nicknamed "The Fox," so it is fitting that he has outfoxed news organizations and there is no photo of him. He is considered on the bottom rung of El Chapo's organization and received the shortest sentence so far.

When Mexican police and soldiers stormed the resort where El Chapo had holed up, it was the beginning of the end for his hands-on and ruthless reign over the Sinaloa Cartel.

He is at the top of 19 defendants charged in Chicago, an investigation that yielded federal law enforcement more than $30-million in drugs and cash.

At the bottom of El Chapo's hierarchy, 29-year-old Edgar Valencia Ortega who started with the cartel as a gopher and messenger boy, worked his way up to cartel accountant, laundering millions in drug cash and taking a commission on multi-kilo deals.

In 2014 shortly after Ortega landed in Las Vegas for a family vacation, he was taken into custody by federal drug agents. As the I-Team reported two years ago, he was secretly brought to Illinois and held in the Village of Oak Park Jail where U.S. authorities attempted to turn him into a prosecution witness for the El Chapo case, according to federal court records. That didn't work although he eventually pleaded guilty.

According to court records recently submitted by Ortega's attorneys, the Mexican national, "deeply regrets his involvement in the drug trade, which he recognizes has done immeasurable harm not only to himself and his loved ones, but also both to the United States and his home country of Mexico."

It has broken his family-and may have resulted in the death of his brother Hector in Mexico in 2015, ironically, the "unintended victim in a drug-related shooting."
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