FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted drug lord captured in operation involving Marine helicopter crash that killed fourteen

One of the FBI’s top ten most wanted fugitives, a Mexican drug lord, was captured this weekend in a military operation that resulted in the tragic crash of a Mexican Marine helicopter that killed 14 people.

Rafael Caro Quintero has been on the FBI’s most wanted list since the 1980s for his role in killing a United States DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena Salazar. The FBI alleges Caro Quintero killed Salazar in retaliation for a raid he led on Caro Quintero’s 2,500 acre cannabis farm. 

He was captured by Mexican Marines in the town of San Simon in Mexico. After he was captured, the helicopter carrying Caro Quintero and the Marines crashed, killing 14 who were on board.

Caro Quintero was discovered not far from the wreckage by authorities, allegedly hiding in bushes nearby. One other passenger on the Black Hawk helicopter was injured in the crash and received medical treatment. 

Caro Quintero spent 28 years in prison for his role in Salazar’s killing, but had been released by the Mexican court on a technicality in 2013. The Mexican Supreme Court later overturned the ruling that had released him, but he had been at large until this weekend when he was captured before the fiery crash. According to the Mexican Navy, he had gone back to drug trafficking since his release. He is accused of trafficking marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines.

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a statement on Friday, “For more than 30 years, the men and women of DEA have worked tirelessly to bring Caro Quintero to justice. Today’s arrest is the result of years of your blood, sweat, and tears. Without your work, Caro Quintero would not face justice.”




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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