Notorious drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero will be extradited to the United States to face federal charges — including the murder of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985, which brought national attention to the war on drugs in Mexico.
The co-founder of the Guadalajara cartel was arrested on Friday, the Associated Press reported, after a decade on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) most wanted fugitives list.
The Guadalajara cartel was the spawn of many notorious drug empires such as Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s “Sinaloa Cartel.”
Quintero, who served 28 years in federal prison in Mexico for the Camarena murder, was released from prison on a technicality back in 2013, per The Los Angeles Times. The decision to release him, however, was reversed by the Mexican Supreme Court — but only after Quintero went into hiding.
In response, the US put up a $20 million reward for any information that would lead to his capture.
Since then, American officials have accused him of assuming a leadership role in the Sinaloa cartel, following El Chapo’s downfall — while also running his own organization in the same region.
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Quintero’s leadership of the drug trade came to an end on Friday though, when a joint operation by the Mexican Navy and Mexican Attorney General’s Office in San Simon, Sinaloa apprehended him.
Former DEA chief of international operations Mike Vigil reportedly called it “one of the most important captures of the last decade in terms of importance to the DEA.”
Now that Quintero has been arrested again, the United States has 60 days to file a formal extradition request with supporting evidence.
The extradition process is likely to be lengthy, given the potential for appeal, but one of the most notorious drug lords in Mexican history is now back in prison and will now have to answer for his appalling crimes, on U.S. soil.
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