FBI via AP, file
MEXICO CITY – Infamous drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, who was behind the murder of a US DEA agent in 1985, has been captured by Mexican forces nearly a decade after leaving prison Mexican and reverted to drug trafficking, a Mexican Navy official confirmed on Friday.
The source was not authorized to speak publicly and agreed to confirm the action only if not named by name. No other details of the capture were immediately available.
Caro Quintero was released in 2013 after 28 years in prison when a court overturned his 40-year sentence for the 1985 kidnapping and murder of US Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. The brutal murder marked a low point in US-Mexico relations.
Caro Quintero, the former head of the Guadalajara Cartel, had since returned to drug trafficking and sparked bloody turf battles in Mexico’s northern border state of Sonora.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador maintained that he was not interested in detaining drug lords and preferred to avoid violence.
An appeals court overturned Caro Quintero’s verdict, but the Supreme Court upheld the sentence. It was then too late; Caro Quintero was abducted from a waiting vehicle.
He was on the FBI’s most wanted list, with a $20 million reward for his capture under the State Department’s narcotics rewards program. He was added to the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List of 2018.
Caro Quintero was a major supplier of heroin, cocaine and marijuana to the United States in the late 1970s. He blamed Camarena for a raid on a marijuana plantation in 1984. In 1985, Camarena was kidnapped in Guadalajara, allegedly on the orders of Caro Quintero. His tortured body was found a month later.
The DEA did not immediately comment.