MEXICO CITY — Jessica Oseguera, the daughter of one of the U.S.’ most-wanted drug lord fugitives, was released from prison a month early, thanks to an act signed by former President Donald Trump.
Oseguera is the daughter of Nemesio Ruben Oseguera Cervantes, aka El Mencho, the head of the New Generation Jalisco Cartel (known by its Spanish initials CJNG), who has a $10 million bounty on his head from the United States government.
She also helped manage El Mencho’s drug-trafficking profits, and was sentenced to 30 months in prison in June last year for her role in a number of businesses linked to her father's cartel. She left U.S. prison custody on March 14, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, after serving just two years behind bars. Her official release date was April 13, according to reports.
This was made possible by the First Step Act, signed by Trump in December 2018, which was aimed at bringing down the U.S.’ prison population, the world’s largest.
Oseguera, who goes by the alias “La Negra,” was arrested in February 2020 when she showed up at a Washington, D.C., courthouse to attend her brother’s hearing. Oseguera’s brother, Rubén, known as “El Menchito” (mini Mencho) remains in U.S. custody after being extradited from Mexico in 2015 on drug charges.
She pleaded guilty in early 2021 of violating the U.S. Kingpin Act by helping to run businesses that had been sanctioned as parts of the CJNG cartel.
La Negra ran an advertising agency as well as a sushi restaurant and tequila brand to help disguise the flows of money generated by her father’s drug-trafficking enterprise. Her case didn’t go to trial, but prosecutors claimed that if it did they’d be able to show a direct connection between Oseguera and her father’s businesses, and prove that she helped El Mencho manage ledgers detailing drug payments and money owed to the cartel.
Certain crimes, including high-level drug-trafficking offenses, are excluded from the First Step Act. La Negra’s release suggests that the U.S government didn’t consider her powerful enough to qualify for an exemption. Her criminal lawyer declined to comment when contacted by VICE World News for this story, and did not confirm allegations reported by Univision that Oseguera served the end of her sentence in a minimum security facility in California.
Given her light sentence and family connections, returning to Mexico presents a risk for La Negra, where her father’s cartel—considered Mexico’s most violent and rapidly expanding—is engaged in territorial disputes around the country, most notably in the southern state of Michoacan.
Reporting and info on the DEA website suggests that Oseguera could be a dual citizen, of both the U.S. and Mexico, because she was born in California, which means she won’t be subject to deportation after doing her time.