Drug charges in Chicago case dismissed after suspect's death

Updated 12/5/2017 9:47 PM

CHICAGO -- A federal judge in Chicago has granted a motion to dismiss charges against a purported figure in Mexico's Sinaloa cartel after prosecutors determined that he's dead.

The court posted an order Tuesday closing the case against Jorge Mario Valenzuela Verdugo. He is also known by the nickname, "Choclos." He was charged with helping to manage the distribution of cocaine, heroin and other drugs for the then-head of the Sinaloa cartel, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Prosecutors disclosed in a court filing that it had credible information Valenzuela Verdugo died on Oct. 22. It didn't say how.

More than a dozen cartel leaders are named in the same Chicago case, including Guzman. But after his capture in Mexico, Guzman was extradited in January to face similar charges in New York.

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