Mexico City, Mexico — In a deeply involved search operation, drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero was finally apprehended. He was arrested after Mexican marines flushed him out of a mountainous area in northwestern Sinaloa.
Quintero has been on the U.S. most wanted list since 1985 when he was accused of killing an American anti-narcotics agent. During the operation, a Black Hawk helicopter that was part of the search crashed, killing 14 of the 15 military personnel on board.
Quintero, who is the alleged founder of the Guadalajara Cartel, was located with help of 6-year-old Max, a female bloodhound who found him hiding in bushes.
“It is reported that Caro Quintero was located in the bushes by a canine element of this Institution named Max, whose search and rescue training allowed his location,” the Secretary of the Navy said in a statement.
The day after his arrest, U.S. Ambassador Ken Salazar reported that the arrest of Caro Quintero was carried out exclusively by the Mexican government. In a brief published statement, Salazar said “SEMAR successfully carried out the operation to capture Rafael Caro Quintero. We congratulate SEMAR for executing the operation and mourn the loss of 14 brave Mexican Marines.
“To clarify, no United States personnel participated in the tactical operation that resulted in Caro Quintero’s arrest: Caro Quintero’s apprehension was carried out exclusively by the Mexican government.
“The arrest of someone who has long terrorized Mexican citizens and is implicated in the torture and death of a DEA agent is a milestone not only for our governments, but also for the people of our countries. The successful Mexican operation exemplifies what we can accomplish by working together to safeguard the citizens of Mexico and the United States.”
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reported that the drug trafficker was one of their most wanted criminals since 1985 for the torture and murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique Kiki Camarena Salazar.