Fugitive drug lord finally arrested after 14 died in helicopter crash trying to catch him

An FBI Most Wanted List, Rafael Caro Quintero Arrested.

Rafael Caro Quintero was found hiding in a bush by a search dog named Max (Images: Getty)

About 14 people were killed during a military operation to capture a notorious drug lord who has been on the run for nearly a decade.

Rafael Caro Quintero, 69, ordered the torture and murder of a US drug agent in Mexico in 1985.

He was imprisoned in Mexico for 40 years but escaped in 2013 after just 28 years in prison and went straight back to drug trafficking.

The criminal, who was one of the top suppliers of heroin, cocaine and weed in the US in the late 1970s, was in the FBI’s top 10 most wanted lists in 2018 with a reward of $20 million (£16.8 million). .

He was finally caught this week after a search dog named Max hid him in a bush in the city of San Simon, Sinaloa.

Although the operation was successful, it came at a very high cost.

A Blackhawk helicopter carrying 15 people involved in the mission crashed near the coastal town of Los Mochis, killing 14. The only survivor is badly injured.

Rafael Caro Quintero is arrested.

Rafael Caro Quintero is being held in the Altiplano Maximum Security Prison (Image: Getty)

An FBI Most Wanted List,

The FBI offered a $20m (£16.8m) reward for Quintero in 2018 (Image: Getty)

FILE PHOTO: UNDATED FILE PHOTO - Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero is shown behind bars in this undated file photo. Quintero won an initial appeal against his conviction and 40-year sentence for the 1985 murder of US DEA agent Enrique Camarena. Quintero will remain in prison while prosecutors appeal the verdict. MEXICO DRUGS/File Photo

Quintero escaped his 40-year sentence in 2013 (Image: Reuters)

Mexican officials said the tragedy was an “accident” but the cause has not been determined.

Quintero is being held at the Altiplano Maximum Security Prison, about 50 miles west of Mexico City, pending extradition to the United States.

The former leader of the Guadalajara cartel is feared for his violence and is seen as a key player in turf wars that have plagued the northern Mexican border state of Sonora for years.

With the help of corrupt officials, Quintero ordered the kidnapping and murder of 37-year-old US agent Enrique Camarena on February 7, 1985.

Quintero blamed the agent for a raid on one of his marijuana farms the year before.

The notorious drug lord is said to have ordered the torture and murder of US tourists John Clay Walker (36) and Albert Radelat (33) on January 30, 1985.

John, an aspiring novelist, and Radelat, a dentistry student, are said to have accidentally walked in at one of Quintero’s private parties.

Quintero mistook them for narcotics officers and allegedly ordered them taken to the restaurant’s pantry, where they were beaten and tortured with ice picks.

It is believed that Radalat was still alive when he and his friend were wrapped in tablecloths and buried.

Their bodies were found six months later.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/07/16/fugitive-drug-lord-finally-detained-after-14-die-in-helicopter-crash-trying-to-catch-him-17011136/ Fugitive drug lord finally arrested after 14 died in helicopter crash trying to catch him

Justin Scacco

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