Photo by Gerardo Magallon/AFP/Getty Images.
Mexican authorities arrested the son of the country’s most-wanted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera on Thursday, CNN reports.
Guzman Loera is the notorious drug lord at the helm of Sinaloa, one of Mexico’s largest cartels. His son, Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, is suspected of being a high-level operative in his father’s cartel. The Mexican Navy captured him earlier Thursday in the western part of the country, with intelligence assistance from U.S. authorities.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury Department designated Guzman Salazar a kingpin, which freezes the assets he has under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits financial and commercial transactions with him. Guzman Loera has been on the Treasury Department’s list since 2001 when he escaped from a high-security prison, according to the Associated Press. El Chapo made Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s wealthiest people in 2009 with a fortune estimated at $1 billion.
In 2009, Guzman Salazar and his father were indicted in Illinois on multiple drug charges. Their cartel is known for its creative methods of moving drugs across the border to the United States, including launching them over fences with catapults and hauling them through several miles of underground tunnels, as was detailed recently by the New York Times.
BBC reporters in Mexico speculated that the arrest could indicate that authorities are circling in on the renowned drug lord. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration certainly hopes so, offering congratulations to the Mexican government upon the arrest and saying, "This is the first step in bringing another ruthless drug baron to justice."