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Infamous Cartel Boss With $20M Bounty Nabbed In Mexico
Screenshot/FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
Screenshot/FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives

Authorities arrested Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero of the infamous Sinaloa Cartel on Friday.

Caro Quintero was highly sought by the U.S. government, taking a place on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list with a $20 million bounty. The U.S. condemned his release from prison in 2013 after he served 28 years of a 40-year sentence for the kidnapping, torture, and slaying of Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985.

Caro Quintero heads the Caro-Quintero Drug Trafficking Organization, a key faction of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel. He is wanted by the U.S. for a host of crimes including drug trafficking, racketeering, and murder.

The arrest of the notorious drug lord comes days after Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador met with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House in what was largely considered to be an effort to repair relations after López Obrador snubbed the U.S.-led Summit of the Americas last month. The meeting focused on the worsening immigration crisis at the U.S. southern border.

A Mexican court ordered Caro Quintero released from prison over the objections of the U.S. in 2013 after ruling that the drug kingpin had been improperly tried in a federal court for state crimes. Caro Quintero quickly disappeared after authorities released him on administrative grounds in a move widely believed to be driven by corruption. A Mexican judge issued a warrant for his arrest less than a week later, but Caro Quintero was already underground.

The U.S. condemned the move at the time, and pressed Mexico for Caro Quintero’s recapture and extradition to the United States.

“We are deeply concerned by the release of Rafael Caro Quintero from prison in Mexico,” Obama White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said at the time.

The U.S. Treasury said in 2016 after Caro Quintero’s release that it believed the kingpin was back directing the trafficking of drugs into the U.S. Officials believed that even when he was in imprisoned in Mexico, Caro Quintero was still involved in directing his drug-running operation.

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