Nephew of Mexican Cartel Lord Behind DEA Agent Kiki Camarena’s Murder Arrested, Faces U.S. Extradition

Fearing the Acapulco police force had been infiltrated by drug cartels, Mexican marines, together with state and federal police, deployed in a massive ground and air operation around the Pacific coast city's police headquarters

Mexican authorities arrested a nephew of Rafael Caro Quintero, the drug lord behind the 1985 murder of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. The arrest came hours after three Sinaloa Cartel members facing extradition to the U.S. escaped a Mexico City prison.

On Wednesday afternoon, Mexico’s Attorney General announced the arrest of Ismael Quintero Arellanes, Caro Quintero’s nephew, during a joint military operation.

A squad of Mexican Navy and Army tactical teams surrounded homes in the Paseo Toscano neighborhood in Culiacan, Sinaloa. They moved in to one and arrested Quintero Arellanes, who is wanted on various drug trafficking charges in the Eastern District of New York.

The arrest was performed without a confrontation, authorities say, and featured a helicopter to move Quintero Arellanes to a Mexico City prison pending his extradition to New York. Quintero Arellano is described by authorities as a top operator for a criminal organization led by his uncle, Caro Quintero.

Caro Quintero started the Guadalajara Cartel, an organization from which others like the Sinaloa Cartel originate. Authorities arrested Caro Quintero in 1985 for ordering the murder of Kiki Camarena. Soon after, a Mexican court convicted him. In 2013, a Mexican federal judge ordered his release before the U.S. could prepare extradition.

The operation targeting Arellanes Quintero comes hours after three top Sinaloa Cartel operators escaped from a prison in Mexico City. The trio was being held for extradition to the U.S. on various drug trafficking charges.

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

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     

Tony Aranda from Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report


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