A federal district court judge in New York City has entered a judgment that calls for the seizure and forfeiture of five properties in Mexico that were purchased by fugitive drug kingpin Rafael Caro-Quintero.
United States District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano ordered the seizure of the properties, including three homes, a ranch and a warehouse, which are located in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara.
The properties were obtained with the drug trafficking money earned by Caro-Quintero’s gang, a faction of the Sinaloa Cartel, according to a joint statement issued Thursday by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Eastern District of New York.
The US government will attempt to enforce the court order through diplomatic channels, as it affects properties in Mexico, officials said.
Caro-Quintero is on the FBI’s top ten most wanted list for his role in ordering the kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena in February 1985.
A forfeiture complaint presented On October 11, 2019 indicated that between January 1980 and March 2015, Caro-Quintero’s organization shipped multiple tons of marijuana and multiple kilos of methamphetamine and cocaine from Mexico to the United States.
Caro-Quintero (left) is on the FBI’s top ten most wanted list for his role in ordering the kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena (right) in February 1985.
One of the five properties that were purchased in Guadalajara, Mexico, by fugitive kingpin Rafael Caro-Quintero that a New York federal court is seeking to seize, according to a judgement entered Thursday
An apartment that is located at a condominium in Guadalajara, Mexico, could be seized by the U.S. government. It was purchased with earnings made off of drug trafficking operations carried out by the organization of fugitive drug lord Rafael Caro-Quintero. The fugitive drug kingpin is wanted by the FBI. The Department of Justice is offering a $20 million reward for information leading to his arrest and/or conviction
This undated file photo provided by Mexico’s government shows fugitive drug lord Rafael Caro-Quintero. Caro-Quintero was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena but was released after 28 when a Jalisco court ruled he had been improperly tried in court. A federal court issued an arrest warrant for Quintero, who remains on the run
As a result, the drug trafficking activities produced a significant windfall which allowed Caro Quintero to use the illicit earnings to buy real estate property in his hometown of Guadalajara and the neighboring areas.
The properties include include a ranch, warehouse, a house and two apartments.
The properties were reportedly put under the names of family members to hide his name from the deeds and prevent Mexican authorities from taking them over.
Caro-Quintero, who is known as the ‘Narco of Narcos,’ was one of the co-founders of the Guadalajara Cartel.
The defunct criminal organization became a focus of the DEA in the 1980s.
The gang sought revenge on Camarena after the Mexican military raided a 2,500-acre marijuana farm in 1984.
Caro-Quintero and the two other cartel leaders, Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo and Ernesto Fonseca, kidnapped the then 37-year-old Camarena in broad daylight on February 7, 1985.
He was tortured him at a residence that belonged to Caro-Quintero and his body was found on March 5, 1985, wrapped in plastic and dumped at an abandoned property in La Angostura, a city in the state of Michoacán.
An empty ranch in Guadalajara, Mexico, is one of five properties that the U.S. government is seeking to confiscated from fugitive drug lord Rafael Caro-Quintero
According to court documents, all of the properties were reportedly put under the names of Rafael Caro-Quintero’s family members to hide his name from the deeds and prevent Mexican authorities from taking them over.
Caro-Quintero eventually fled to Costa Rica with his girlfriend and was arrested the following month and was sentenced to 40 years in jail for Camarena’s murder.
The high-profile international incident is featured on the Netflix series, ‘Narcos: Mexico.’
A Jalisco court ordered the release of Caro-Quintero on August 9, 2013 after he had served 28 years in prison, ruling that he had been improperly tried for the killing of the DEA special agent.
But on August 14, a federal court acted on pressure from the United States and issued a warrant for the arrest.
Caro-Quintero, who remains on-the-run, reintegrated himself in the drug trade business and has been involved in an all-out-war with the sons of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, who are now in charge of operating Sinaloa Cartel.
U.S. military personnel carry the coffin containing the body of DEA Special Agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena
‘Rafael Caro Quintero is one of the world’s most wanted criminals for years of drug trafficking and his role in killing one of our own, DEA Special Agent Enrique Kiki Camarena,’ stated DEA Special Agent in Charge Donovan.
‘The unprecedented seizures and forfeitures announced today exemplify our resolve and perseverance in bringing ‘RCQ’ to justice to face the consequences of his alleged crimes.
‘As we continue to safeguard the American public from drug trafficking and the dangers associated, we will never forget Special Agent Camarena’s courage and sacrifice.’
The U.S. Department of Justice is offering a $20 million reward for information leading to his arrest and/or conviction.