Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cartel kingpin 'El Chapo' Chicago's new Public Enemy No. 1

One of Mexico's most ruthless drug lords has been named Chicago's public enemy number one. He is Joaquin Guzman, known as "El Chapo". Guzman is only the second criminal ever to be branded as Chicago's top public enemy. Al Capone is the only other criminal to ever be graced with that title. Guzman's nickname "El Chapo" translates to "Shorty".

FILE - In this June 10, 1993 file photo, Joaquin Guzman Loera, alias "El Chapo" 
Guzman, is shown to the press after his arrest at the high security prison of 
Almoloya de Juarez on the outskirts of Mexico City. Guzman escaped from a 
maximum security federal prison hidden in a laundry truck in 2001 and continues 
fugitive as of Aug. 2012.

He's only 5 foot 6 inches tall but as head of the Sinaloa cartel, he towers over a Mexican drug empire.

Federal investigators say that is the organization that has enlisted 100,000 Chicago street gang members to deal it's drugs on the street.

With those credentials the Chicago Crime Commission and the Drug Enforcement Administration have made "El Chapo" public enemy number one.

"Because of the viciousness and because of the evil and because of the power of this man," Chicago Crime Commission Executive Vice President Arthur Bilek said. "He is clearly more dangerous than Al Capone was at his height."

Guzman is already facing federal drug indictments here in Chicago and is estimated to oversee a cocaine and heroin business worth $1 billion.

Arresting him is another matter, in 2001 Guzman escaped prison in a laundry cart.

Guzman has said he wants the head of Chicago's top federal drug agent Jack Riley who has made it his life's mission see the drug lord prosecuted in Chicago.

"In the next couple of weeks I'm proud to say you're going to see us swing the bat for the first time with the strike force and I think that will have a long-lasting effect really in the crime we're dealing with," Riley said.

The strike force of local and federal law enforcement is aiming at what the DEA calls "choke points", where operatives from the Mexican cartels and Chicago gang distributors exchange drugs for cash.

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