Rafael Caro Quintero Released From Mexico Prison

Drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero was released from a Mexico prison. Quintero was convicted of killing U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Quintero, age 60, was released after serving only 28 years. An federal court decided that the case was tried in the improper venue. As reported by USA Today, the court ruled that the crimes should have been charged under state, not federal, code.

US officials did not receive prior notice of Quintero’s release. Caitlin Hayden, of the Obama administration, issued a statement about the situation:

“We are deeply concerned by the release of Rafael Caro Quintero from prison in Mexico. We remain as committed today in seeing Quintero… face justice in the United States… and will work closely with the Mexican authorities… “

US authorities are now concerned that two of Quintero’s associates will also be released.

Rafael Caro Quintero is the suspected head of the Guadalajara Cartel. The cartel fell apart with Quintero’s arrest. However, they were one of the first major Mexican drug cartels.

Arrested at the age of 33, Quintero was convicted of drug trafficking, kidnapping, racketeering, and the killing of a federal agent.

Quintero is still wanted by US authorities for the 1985 killing. His release has raised serious questions about Mexico’s judicial system and relations with the US.

Raul Benitez, a drug trafficking expert, states that it is “very probable that there was corruption involved” in Quintero’s release.

As reported by Yahoo News, Quintero’s case should have been turned over to the state court while he remained incarcerated. However, Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam states that the judge “completely ignored” rules established by Mexico’s Supreme Court.

Rafael Caro Quintero was released from the Puente Grande prison on Friday, His whereabouts are unknown. He is still wanted in the US for the DEA agent’s killing.

[Image via Flickr]


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