(Mazatlan, Mexico) The chief of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel was captured Saturday, CBS News has confirmed.
Federal law enforcement sources told CBS News that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was arrested in Mazatlan, Mexico. Authorities took Guzman into custody early Saturday morning inside a high-rise condominium along the boardwalk near Mazatlan’s aquarium.
A law enforcement source told CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton that Guzman, 56, was taken by surprise by Mexican marines and law enforcement officers.
Guzman was found naked in bed with an AK-47 nearby, which he didn’t get a chance to grab, Milton reports. The raid was so fast his bodyguards didn’t even have a chance to react, the source said.
Saturday’s arrest followed some near-misses in attempts to capture Guzman during the last three weeks, the law enforcement source told Milton.
Mexican authorities missed taking him “within seconds” at a condominium in Mexico 10 days ago, the source said. Guzman escaped through an elaborate tunnel under a bathtub, leaving behind his personal handgun, which authorities confiscated.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. and Mexican law enforcement had been working side by side for months sharing intelligence and strategy to arrest Guzman, the source said.
“This is a huge success for Mexican authorities,” said Samuel Gonzalez, a former anti-drug prosecutor in Mexico, “that after so many years, this guy will return to prison. All of his victims deserve that.”
Guzman faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U.S. and is on the DEA’s most-wanted list. His drug empire stretches throughout North America and reaches as far away as Europe and Australia. His cartel has been heavily involved in the bloody drug war that has torn through parts of Mexico for the last several years.
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