Arguments set for final immunity agreement fight in Sinaloa drug cartel wives' case

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Friday, July 29, 2022
Arguments set for final immunity agreement fight in cartel wives' case
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Attorneys for the wives of twin brothers who worked for El Chapo will argue to a federal judge that they had immunity from prosecution.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- On Monday, attorneys for Mia and Olivia Flores will argue in front of a federal judge in Chicago that they had immunity from prosecution, claiming it was part of the deal their notorious twin husbands cut to turn on El Chapo.

They are the spouses of Pedro and Margarito Flores, twin brothers who were El Chapo's top deputies in Chicago and beyond.

"They're not likely to win it because these kinds of efforts rarely win. There's no written promise of immunity, there's nothing they can point to that demonstrates immunity, no document. That makes it an uphill battle for them but the judge is obviously taking this very seriously. He's allotted a lot of time and it's possible that they could prevail. It's just it's not likely," said ABC7 legal analyst, Gil Soffer.

The Flores brothers, who oversaw the Sinaloa Cartel's mega-million dollar illicit drug operation, which was believed to be responsible for 80% of the city's fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, received a 14-year sentence even with their cooperation.

RELATED: Cartel wives Mia and Olivia Flores hid millions in floorboards of house, feds say

Their wives are charged with laundering drug money despite, they say, an unwritten promise by prosecutors not to charge them with crimes after surrendering millions in drug profits. Soffer tells the I-Team that fights over immunity rarely result in a cases being thrown out.

"It was only just over a year ago that we saw the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reverse Bill Cosby's conviction on the ground that he was promised immunity not in writing, not in any kind of document they could find. So it doesn't mean that the judge can't throw it out," Soffer Said.

ABC7's Chuck Goudie asked Soffer if there were other options the judge would have in a case like this.

RELATED: Wives of Chicago twins who helped convict El Chapo charged with money laundering

"The way the motion is set up, it really is an all-or-nothing proposition. They were either promised immunity, in which case this indictment has to be dismissed, or they weren't promised immunity in, which case the indictment survives. There aren't that many different ways to cut it," Soffer said.

The attorney for Olivia Flores told the I-Team that he remains "shocked" the government is "persisting with these charges."

"It's obvious from the testimony at the hearing that these families put themselves in real danger to help the government and believed that certain promises were made," Attorney Michael F. Clancy said.