Across the Sonoran Desert and to the border city of Nogales, terror consumes the state of Sonora and blood continues to be spilled in the name of Rafael Caro Quintero. The Quintero family lifeblood of smuggling goes back decades in this region.
The unabated violence spiked months ago as a result of the deepening fracture within the Sinaloa Cartel. The Rafael Quintero faction fights to maintain control of its territory in the region.
Rafael Quintero was the leader of the Guadalajara Cartel before going to prison. On August 9, 2013, his conviction was overturned on a technicality after serving only 28 of a 40-year sentence for the brutal torture and murder of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.
Texas law enforcement developed critical intelligence from sources within the Sinaloa Cartel that Rafael Quintero had returned to his trade.
The most concerning part of the intelligence was that he and his son, Jorge Caro Gallardo, were now in charge of an entire wing of the Sinaloa Cartel. The Quintero organization is family-run with close associations in multiple countries.
In Mexico, it is common for the criminal justice system to fail the victims of violent crime. The families who have suffered blame corrupt judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and relentless bureaucracies.
Since Rafael Quintero’s release from prison, the U.S. justice system has gone to great lengths to have him arrested and extradited. This has been met with postponements and all-out ruling by Mexican judges.
The extradition process is complex with cases lasting years. Cartel attorneys are skilled in leveraging the Mexican judicial system’s appellate process.
The United States also has other charges against Rafael Quintero for kidnapping, murder, racketeering, aiding and abetting, accessory after the fact, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, cocaine, and continuing criminal enterprise. He has a $20 million reward for his arrest and is on the DEA’s most wanted list.
Some of these charges are a direct result of a new criminal indictment filed in the Eastern District of New York in 2015. Despite all of these pending charges, the Mexican government refuses to arrest Rafael Quintero and extradite him.
Breitbart Texas obtained a letter written to President Donald Trump requesting his assistance in obtaining justice in the “Kiki” Camarena case. The DEA Survivor’s Benefit Fund, a charity organization, asks the U.S. renew its efforts to secure the extradition of Rafael Quintero.
Breitbart Texas spoke with Derek Maltz, a retired Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Special Operations Division (SOD) and asked his thoughts about the letter.
DM – As a retired DEA Executive, I’m hopeful that President Trump can fully engage the Mexican Government on this matter especially in light of the recent Amazon Series, The Last Narc released on July 31, which highlights the horrible tragedy and torturous murder of DEA Agent Camarena.
JJ – Since being released from prison in 2013, Rafael Quintero immediately returned to a life of crime. How has justice not been served and where is he hiding?
DM – It’s unacceptable that Rafael Quintero has engaged in brutal acts of murder and drug smuggling and can hideout in the mountains of Mexico as a free man. He needs to face justice in the United States to the full extent of the law. The time is right for action. Every year, 70,000 Americans are dying from drug overdoses. The Mexican cartels are actively engaged in making billions of dollars as they kill our citizens at unprecedented levels. Families suffer daily so enough is enough. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador needs to step up and capture Rafael Quintero. He needs to be removed from Mexico and face Justice in the United States.
Jaeson Jones is a retired Captain from the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division and a Breitbart Texas contributor. While on duty, he managed daily operations for the Texas Rangers Border Security Operations Center.