Federal prosecutors in New York moved to seize eight properties in Mexico belonging to one of the most powerful drug lords in Mexico. Prosecutors singled out the drug lord as having ordered the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Kiki Camarena in 1985.
This week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the Eastern District of New York announced a civil forfeiture lawsuit attempting to seize eight properties in and around Guadalajara, Jalisco. The properties belonging to Rafael Caro Quintero — a one-time leading figure within the Guadalajara Cartel. Several major cartels splintered off from the Guadalajara Cartel including the Sinaloa Cartel. Those properties are listed under the name of proxy individuals but are actually controlled by the drug lord, prosecutors allege. The properties include multiple ranches, warehouses, and some plots of land that have since become luxury buildings.
Prosecutors allege that Caro Quintero led his own criminal enterprise from 1980 until at least 2015 moving large scale quantities of drugs from Mexico into major U.S. cities. Proceeds from those drug deals were used to purchase the properties in Mexico, prosecutors claim. In an attempt to hide the illegal source of his income, Caro Quintero used relatives and front men to be listed as the business owners when in fact he was the real owner, the lawsuit alleges.
Authorities arrested Caro Quintero in 1985. a court in Mexico found him guilty of the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena. A judge in Mexico ordered his release in 2013 on a “technicality.” Mexican authorities released the drug lord before the U.S. government could formalize a request for extradition.
In 2018, federal authorities added Caro Quintero to the FBI’s most-wanted list and offered a $20 million cash reward for his capture. Since his release, Caro Quintero is believed to have retaken a key role in the drug trafficking world.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.