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Rafael Caro Quintero: Mexico arrests US-wanted drug lord after 14 killed in Black Hawk helicopter crash

According to a statement by the Mexican Navy, Rafael Caro Quintero was arrested by Marines after he was found hiding in bushes by a Navy dog ​​in the town of San Simón, in the municipality of Choix, northwest Sinaloa state.

Caro Quintero, known as the “narco the drug dealer”, is believed by the Mexican authorities to be the founder of the Guadalajara cartel. They accuse him of dealing in methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and marijuana.

Mexico Navy Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, after operation to capture him, the statement said. Another Marine was injured and remains hospitalized.

The cause of the crash was unknown and an investigation would be held, the statement added.

Caro Quintero, whose exact age is unknown but is believed to be in his 60s, is being sought by US authorities on charges of allegedly kidnapping and conspiring to murder Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent Enrique Camarena Salazar in 1985 searched.

Camarena Salazar was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by Mexican authorities in retaliation for a 1984 raid of Caro Quintero’s 2,500-acre marijuana farm, according to the DEA. The events were serialized in the Netflix drama Narcos: Mexico.

Caro Quintero spent 28 years in prison for his role in the murder in Mexico before being released on formal grounds in 2013. The Mexican Supreme Court later overturned the decision that freed him.

According to the FBI, the fugitive returned to drug trafficking as a high-ranking leader of the Sinaloa cartel.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday the United States would seek Caro Quintero’s immediate extradition to face trial, “even in the Justice System (DEA), Special Agent Camarena died in defense.”

“There is no hiding place for someone who is abducting, torturing and murdering American law enforcement agencies,” Garland said.

In 2018, US authorities announced a $20 million reward for Caro Quintero. He has previously said attempts to arrest him were “misplaced revenge” — “a convenient rewriting of history,” according to the DEA.

Mexico-based DEA agents were working with Mexican authorities to locate and arrest Quintero, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a note to agency staff Friday night.

“For more than 30 years, the men and women of the DEA have worked tirelessly to bring Caro Quintero to justice,” Milgram said. “Today’s arrest is the result of years of blood, sweat and tears. Without your work, Caro Quintero would not be brought to justice.”

Additional coverage by CNN’s Josh Campbell.


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