The 15 Most Dangerous Women In Organized Crime
While many consider that of gangs a predominantly male-dominated environment, women have always been an important part of the criminal underworld. Over the last five decades, law enforcement agencies recorded an increasing number of ladies who joined the ranks of some of the world’s biggest gangs and cartels.
Today, we meet 15 of the most dangerous women in organized crime. Whether they chose this life to escape poverty or out of pure entrepreneurial spirit, these ladies were as brutal and ruthless as their male counterparts!
Number 15 – Maria Guadalupe Lopez Esquivel
A former Mexican model and popular internet influencer, Maria Guadalupe Lopez Equivel was also a high-ranking member of one of the country’s largest criminal groups. Rumors have it that the young girl – who was barely 18 at the time – first joined “The New Generation Cartel” when she started dating one of its members.
The young lady, who was known as “La Catrina” in Mexican underground circles, owed much of her criminal reputation to an ambush she led in October 2019. Alongside a group of armed gangsters, Esquivel attacked and razed a police convoy in the state of Michoacan. The hit left 13 officers dead and injured another three.
La Catrina’s promising career as a criminal mastermind, however, was cut short earlier this year. When police raided the compound from which she ran most of her operations, Esquivel was eventually shot in the neck. Although a team of army medics attempted to save her, the criminal died on her way to the nearest hospital.
Number 14 – Jasiane Silva Teixeira
One of Brazil’s most wanted criminals, Jasiane Silva Teixeira was a killer-for hire, drug trafficker, robber, gunrunner, and forger with ties to multiple cartels and smaller gangs throughout South America.
When she was finally arrested in 2019, police discovered that the 31-year-old woman had been leading one of the region’s largest trafficking operations. Using a small fleet of private planes, the group could easily transport large quantities of both drugs and weapons between Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, and Peru.
On top of her extraordinary business skills, Teixeira also had a certain affinity for violence. Rumors have it that the woman, who would routinely provide her henchmen with automatic weapons and even grenades, allegedly ordered the execution of more than 100 people throughout her career. Among them were rival gang members, disgruntled buyers, and even several of Mexico’s correctional officers.
Number 13 – Claudia Ochoa Félix
While her criminal affiliations have never been officially confirmed, Claudia Ochoa Félix was long considered the leader of the Los Antrax. According to rumors, the young model and influencer entered the world of organized crime when she married Mexican drug dealer El Chavo Félix. She would go on to control one of the most powerful enforcer groups under the Sinaloa Cartel.
Aside from posting provocative pictures to her multiple social media accounts, in which she was often accompanied by a small army of masked bodyguards, Claudia Ochoa Félix is also considered responsible for carrying out several assassinations for Sinaloa leader El Chapo.
In 2019, local newspapers revealed that the young woman had died under mysterious circumstances in Culiacàn. It is still unclear whether she overdosed or was taken out by a rival assassin.
Number 12 – Thelma Wright
Thelma Wright grew up in a peaceful neighborhood in South Philadelphia. Fresh out of high school, she met and later married a local drug dealer by the name of Jackie Wright. The couple soon had a son and, at least for a while, lived a relatively pleasant life.
When her husband was shot in 1986, however, Thelma found herself at a crossroads. She decided to take over the family business and, over the next few years, expanded it to create an organization that oversaw the transportation of cocaine and heroin between Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
By that time, the drug queen pin was making more than 400.000 Dollars every month.
But the dangers of crime weren’t exactly what Thelma wanted for her family. After closely evading capture in 1991, she decided to quit the game and start a new life. She went to work for a non-profit organization and, in 2011, published a memoir in which she details the horrors of the drug trafficking business.
Number 11 – Melissa Calderon
One of Mexico’s youngest Mujeres Fuertes, the 35-year-old Melissa “La China” Calderon is a female killer-for-hire allegedly responsible for more than 200 murders. Her criminal career started in the early 2000s when she found herself embroiled with one of the many gangs that serve the Sinaloa Cartel.
Up until the mid-2010s, Melissa Calderon led Las Fuerzas Especiales de Los Dámaso, an enforcer group that terrorized the city of La Paz. Among others, one of her favorite killing techniques included disemboweling her enemies and dropping the victims’ entrails on their family’s doorstep. In addition to her role as sicaria, she was also involved in the trafficking of narcotics.
La China was arrested in 2015 and is currently serving her sentence in Mexico’s Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 1. It is unlikely she’ll be released anytime soon!
Number 10 – Sandra Ávila Beltrán
Sandra “La Reina Del Pacifico” Ávila Beltrán is another of the women covering key positions within the Mexican narcotics industry. Closely related to both the Félix Gallardo and the Caro Quintero families, she’s been dubbed the Queen of the Pacific Ocean due to the relationships she entertains with the Sinaloa cartel and various Colombian drug-trafficking groups.
Although Sandra’s rise to power remains a mystery, many believe that her ability to mingle and her charming good looks accounted for most of her popularity among narcotraffickers. Throughout the 80s and the 90s, The Queen of the Sea would go on to be responsible for a large chunk of the cocaine and heroin coming in from Mexico.
Sandra Ávila Beltrán was eventually arrested for money laundering in 2007. She has spent 7 years in prison and was released in 2015. Beltran inspired Sabella Bautista, played by Teresa Ruiz, a fictional character in the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico.
Number 9 – Stephanie St. Clair
A pillar of the Harlem community, Stephanie St. Clair was born in the West Indies in 1897. After the death of her mother, the young girl first moved to France and eventually arrived in New York in 1911. Here, she would start a series of businesses and found one of the city’s most successful numbers games.
By the end of the Prohibition Era, St. Clair had become a wealthy businesswoman and a vocal activist for the rights of African Americans. When the Mafia moved into Harlem in the 1930s and attempted to seize her fortune, she played an instrumental role in the downfall of local mobster Dutch Schultz.
Stephanie St. Clair would also be wrongfully accused and convicted for the murder of her husband in the late 1930s. She would survive a 10 years prison sentence and eventually die, still wealthy and popular, in 1969.
Number 8 – Angie Sanclemente Valencia
A former beauty queen and lingerie model, Colombian-born Angie Sanclemente Valencia is allegedly at the helm of one of the world’s largest drug distribution networks. Her syndicate was only discovered by sheer luck in 2009 after Argentinian police stopped and searched a 21-year-old girl at Buenos Aires International Airport.
Inside the young woman’s suitcase, officers found more than 50 kilograms of cocaine. Further investigations revealed that Valencia would hire models, whom she’d pay handsomely for each trip, to transport narcotics between Argentina and several destinations throughout Europe. The Narco Queen also regularly bribed airport officials to ensure none of her couriers would be stopped.
Following the discovery, Angie Sanclemente Valencia was arrested in 2010 and given a 6 years prison sentence. She would eventually be released and deported back to Colombia in 2013 but remains banned from entering Argentina.
Number 7 – Mery Valencia
Born to a poor Colombian family in 1953, Mery Valencia is a former drug trafficker and one of the leaders of the infamous Cali Cartel. By the beginning of the 1970s, after years spent building a vast network of contacts and climbing to the top of the local criminal underworld, Valencia moved to the US and settled in Miami.
Here, through a series of beauty parlors and hair salons, she would lay the foundations for an organization that could process and distribute large quantities of both heroin and cocaine. Police estimated that, at its peak, Valencia’s operations yielded more than 180 million dollars every year.
Although Mery Valencia was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1999, she was eventually released in 2012. While her current whereabouts remain unknown, it is rumored that she left the US and returned to Colombia.
Number 6 – Ana Marie Hernandez
The ex-wife of a US Customs and Border Protection officer, also known as La Muñeca because of her stunning looks, Ana Marie Hernandez first made the headlines in 2015. According to the Mexican federal police, the woman and her husband were responsible for smuggling several tons of cocaine through the border and into a number of US cities.
Further inquiries into the allegations, however, soon unveiled the truth. Both Hernandez and her husband, who had already pleaded guilty to drug smuggling conspiracy charges in 2010, had been working with the Juarez cartel to create a corridor through which drugs could be sent as far as the city of Chicago.
Following a lengthy trial, Ana Marie Hernandez was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2019. She is currently serving her sentence and should be released by 2030.
Number 5 – Jemeker Thompson
An African-American girl born in a poor neighborhood of Los Angeles, Jemeker Thompson first began dealing drugs while she was still in school. She eventually married her high school sweetheart Anthony “Daff” Mosley in 1980 and, immediately after the wedding, the couple set up a distribution network that would soon flood the city’s streets with crack cocaine.
Although Mosley was killed shortly thereafter, Thomspon went on to become one of the top contributors to the crack epidemic that ravaged the US throughout the 80s and 90s. When she was arrested and convicted in 1993, the then 31-year-old woman was believed to be in charge of an organization that extended from Colombia to the entire State of California.
Number 4 – María Guadalupe Jiménez López
Responsible for at least 20 murders, to which she confessed when she was finally arrested in 2012, Maria “La Tosca” Guadalupe Jiménez López was allegedly a prolific enforcer and a minor leader within the Los Zetas drug cartel.
According to her own accounts, La Tosca earned a monthly salary for her services and mainly specialized in torture and ambushes. In addition to that, as an independent leader, Ms. Guadalupe also involved herself in a variety of other crimes. These would often include robberies, kidnappings, executions, and the management of several drug distribution centers throughout the northern Mexican state of Nuevo León.
Details of her life since the arrest are shrouded in mystery. Nevertheless, it would be safe to assume that she’s serving her time in one of the many correctional facilities scattered throughout Mexico.
Number 3 – Marllory Chacon Rossell
Born in Guatemala in the early 1970s, Marllory Chacon Rossell came from a poor family. She quickly made a name for herself within the country’s criminal world and founded an organization that would eventually be able to supply drugs to some of South America’s largest gangs – including Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel.
By the beginning of the 2000s, Chacon also managed the distribution of cocaine throughout the United States. Furthermore, the large amounts of money at her disposal and a seemingly infinite network of contacts allowed her to influence Guatemalan national politics. In 2011, local newspapers reported that the trafficker had donated more than 2 Billion USD to politician Otto Pérez Molina, who would go on to serve as the country’s president from 2012 and 2015.
Marllory Chacon Rossell eventually pleaded guilty to a series of drug trafficking charges in 2014. She has been collaborating with the DEA ever since, allegedly in exchange for a reduced prison sentence.
Number 2 – Griselda Blanco
Griselda Blanco Restrepo was born in Cartagena during World War II. In the early 1970s, after a troubled childhood which forced her to spend several years as a street urchin, she eventually emigrated to New York and set up one of the first US-based cocaine operations for the Colombian cartels.
Following an indictment for drug trafficking, La Dama De La Mafia first returned to Colombia and later settled in Miami. There, she was heavily involved with the Cocaine Cowboy Wars and the streak of murders that consequently plagued the city. Her violent style attracted the attention of the police and finally led to her arrest in 1985.
Ms. Blanco was eventually released in 2004. Her freedom, however, wouldn’t last long: in 2012, while grocery shopping in Medellin, the former Narco-queen was ambushed and shot by a rival sicario.
Number 1 – Enedina Arellano Félix
A prominent figure within the Mexican criminal underworld, Enedina Arellano Félix first became familiar with the concept of drug trafficking at a very young age. Throughout most of her teen years, Enedina’s older brothers worked for legendary drug kingpin Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo and her family would eventually control the entire plaza of Tijuana by the early 1980s.
Upon earning her bachelor’s degree in accounting from a prestigious Mexican university, Enedina Arellano Felix also became involved with the family business. La Narcomami – that’s one of her most popular nicknames – worked as the cartel’s bookkeeper until the early 2000s. When, in 2002, her brother Benjamìn was finally arrested, Enedina stepped up and took control of the criminal association.
Enedina Arellano Félix is portrayed in the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico by Mayra Hermosillo. Today, the 59-year-old lady is the de-facto leader of the Tijuana cartel and remains a wanted criminal in the US under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act.
This was our list of the most dangerous women in the history of crime!`
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