Mexico nabs FBI Most Wanted cartel boss accused of ’80s kidnapping, murder of DEA agent

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Mexican forces have arrested infamous drug lord Rafael Caro-Quintero nearly a decade after he walked out of prison and returned to drug trafficking. 

An official with Mexico’s Navy on Friday confirmed Caro-Quintero’s arrest but provided no further details. Caro-Quintero left prison in 2013 after serving 28 years of a 40-year prison sentence for his involvement in the 1985 kidnapping and killing of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. 

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has maintained that he is not interested in detaining drug lords and prefers to avoid violence.

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Caro-Quintero was the former leader of the Guadalajara cartel, and the DEA alleges he had returned to drug trafficking and ordered bloody attacks in the northern Mexico border state of Sonora. 

  • Mexico Cartel Caro-Quintero

    Convicted drug cartel boss Rafael Caro-Quintero sits in a federal police transport as he is transferred from the maximum-security La Palma prison outside Mexico City to a different jail on Jan. 16, 2005. (Reuters/PFP AW)

  • Mexican Drug Cartel Boss Caro-Quintero

    Infamous drug lord Rafael Caro-Quintero in 2016, courtesy of the FBI.  (FBI)

Caro-Quintero blamed Camarena for a raid on a marijuana plantation in 1984, allegedly ordering his kidnapping the following year. Camarena’s body was found a month later with evidence of torture and abuse. 

The FBI added Caro-Quintero to the Top 10 Most Wanted list in 2018 and offered a reward of up to $20 million for information leading to Quintero’s arrest and/or conviction. 

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An appeals court overturned Caro-Quintero’s verdict. The Supreme Court upheld the sentence, but Caro-Quintero had disappeared before the ruling could be applied. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

This is a developing story. 

Peter Aitken is a Fox News Digital reporter with a focus on national and global news. 

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