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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2004

Multi-Million Dollar Reward Offered for the Capture of Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman

DEC 20--The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) today announced up to a $5,000,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of Joaquin Guzman-Loera, a.k.a. “Chapo” Guzman.

Guzman-Loera is wanted in the Southern District of California for conspiracy to import cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, money laundering and criminal forfeiture. The reward is offered through the United States State Department, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

In the 1980s, Guzman-Loera was associated with Miguel Angel Felix-Gallardo, a.k.a. El Padrino, head of the most powerful drug trafficking group in Mexico at that time. He left the El Padrino organization and soon gained notoriety as the head of his own international criminal enterprise.

Guzman-Loera is known for his use of a sophisticated tunnel located in Douglas, Arizona to smuggle cocaine from Mexico into the United States in the early 1990s. In 1993, a 7.3 ton load of his cocaine, concealed in cans of chili peppers, destined for the United States was seized in Tecate, Baja California Norte, Mexico.

In May of that year, members of the rival Arellano-Felix Organization coordinated a failed attempt to assassinate Guzman-Loera in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, which resulted in the much publicized murder of the prominent Catholic Cardinal Jan Jesus Posadas-Ocampo.

At about the same time, an even more sophisticated tunnel that stretched from Tijuana, Baja California Norte, Mexico to the Otay Mesa, California area was discovered. The following month, Guzman-Loera was arrested in Mexico on homicide and drug charges. In January 2001, he escaped from a maximum security prison located in Mexico and quickly regained full control of his internationally-based drug trafficking organization, which he still controls today.

The arrest warrant for Guzman-Loera is based on a Federal indictment and stems from a case DEA’s San Diego office worked on with the United States Attorney’s Office and United States Marshals Service.

Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman-Loera remains at large. Anyone with information about the whereabouts and activities of “Chapo” Guzman should call the toll-free DEA Hotline at 1-866-294-0820 (in the USA) or 001-866-294-0820 (Mexico, Central America, and South America) or send an email to chapotips@usdoj.gov.

 

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