The FBI has announced a $20 million bounty for the capture of a fugitive drug lord, Rafael Caro Quintero, who is also believed to be one of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman‘s partners within the Sinaloa Cartel, as reported by Time. Currently believed to be in his 50s, he’s credited as one of the godfathers of the Mexican drug trade. Quintero was initially imprisoned in 1985 but was released on a technicality on August 9, 2013.
He had, by that time, spent 28 years in jail. Quintero got his break when a judge ruled that he had been improperly tried in a federal courtroom instead of a state court. Orders for his re-arrest were issued a few days later, but the drug lord had already gone into hiding. His release led to tensions between the Mexican and American governments due to his alleged involvement in the killing of U.S. Drug Enforcement agent, Enrique Camarena Salazar, writer John Clay Walker, and pilot Alfredo Zavala Avelar in 1985.
The kingpin fled to Costa Rica after the killings but was soon after apprehended and extradited to Mexico, where he was handed a 40-year sentence for the murders. His cartel, the Guadalajara Cartel, disintegrated after his incarceration, with its members being incorporated into the Juárez Cartel, El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel, and the Tijuana Cartel.
News of renewed interest for his recapture comes in the wake of a new investigative report published by the Huffington Post illustrating the current life of the fallen drug lord. According to the report, he lives in hiding, changing his location every day. He and his henchmen are reportedly always on the lookout for drones and Mexican authorities. Residing in a mountainous region in Mexico, a place known for the growing, harvesting, and processing of drugs, he lives in perpetual fear of apprehension and reportedly suffers from a diseased prostate, but refuses to seek treatment as a result.
He has not seen his two wives and five kids in months. He and El Chapo were apparently born in the same region, Badiraguato, Sinaloa and like the imprisoned drug lord, he began growing marijuana at a young age to support his family following the demise of his father. His problems with Enrique Camarena began after the agent infiltrated his cartel. The information he provided to authorities led to the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of marijuana following a raid on a cannabis plantation ran by his organization.