U.S. federal agents allegedly cut a deal with the Sinaloa drug cartel that allowed it to traffic tons of narcotics across the border, in exchange for information about rival cartels, according to documents filed in federal court.

The deal allegedly began with Humberto Loya-Castro, a Sinaloa cartel lawyer who became an informant for the D.E.A. after a drug case against him was dismissed in 2008.

According to the motion, the deal was part of a ‘divide and conquer’ strategy, where the U.S. helped finance and arm the Sinaloa cartel, through Operation Fast and Furious, in exchange for information that allowed the D.E.A. and FBI to destroy and dismantle rival Mexican cartels. Operation Fast and Furious is the failed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives anti-gun trafficking program which allowed thousand of guns to cross into Mexico.

In response in court, the U.S. doesn’t dispute that Zambada-Niebla may have acted as an informant – only that he did not act with D.E.A. consent.

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