Inside 'world's first drug lord billionaire who lived like king in jail' with guns, silk shirts, and cowboy hats | The Sun

THE world's 'first billionaire drug lord' who lived like a king in jail with guns, silk shirts, and cowboy hats has been captured by Mexican troops after going on the run.

A dishevelled-looking Rafael Caro Quintero was seen being dragged out in handcuffs after a sniffer dog found him hiding a bus in footage shared by Mexican forces.

The joint operation between the navy and prosecutor's office in San Simon, Sinaloa state, saw a black hawk chopper crash in an accident.

The once-feared kingpin – renowned for his ruthless tactics and love of money – was secretly released from a Mexican prison in 2013 on a legal technicality and returned to drug trafficking.

His life was portrayed in the infamous Netflix series Narcos: Mexico.


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Caro Quintero co-founded the Guadalajara Cartel – one of Mexico's deadliest drug gangs – in the late 1970s and helped traffic millions of dollars worth of heroin and cocaine into the US.

He was jailed in 1985 for the kidnap and murder of US drug enforcement agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena and sentenced to 40 years behind bars in Mexico.

It's understood he ordered the hit after blaming Camarena for a 1984 raid on his 540-hectare marijuana plantation named "Rancho Bufalo" in northern Mexico.

The raid netted somewhere between 2,500 and 6,000 tons of the green stuff, making it the largest marijuana seizure in history at the time and cost him between $3.2 billion and $8 billion in today's prices, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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The US government claimed Caro Quintero was pulling in at least $5billion a year, according to reports by Forbes.

The drug lord is also believed to have ordered the US writer John Clay Walker, and dentist student Alberto Radelat in the same year.

Until his capture, Caro Quintero was on the FBI's most wanted list and had a £16.8m bounty on his head.

It's widely rumoured Caro Quintero offered to pay Mexico's foreign debt of $80billion in return for his freedom, Forbes reports.

Numerous news outlets reported that the Mexican kingpin lived a lavish life in prison.

He was reported to have shared two entire cell blocks designed for 250 inmates with a fellow drug lord.

He had them remodelled, had kitchens installed, living and dining rooms put in as well as offices and marble bathrooms.

For Caro Quintero, he had a carpeted master bedroom with satin sheets to himself and closets full of silk shirts, cowboy boots and cowboy hats, according to the LA Times.


In 2013, a Mexican judge let Caro Quintero walk free in 2013 on a technicality after 28 years in prison.

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Mexico's Supreme Court ended up upholding the sentence in an appeal but by that point, the 69-year-old had already fled.

According to Sky News, he went underground and is said to have returned to drug trafficking and is tipped with forming the Caborca Cartel, which fought bloody turfs wars in Sonora state.

Footage of the former don's arrested showed Caro Quintero being chaperoned in handcuffs by Mexican marines.

He was dressed in jeans and a soaking wet blue shirt, a baggy khaki jacket and looked complete dazed.

The White House celebrated Caro Quintero's capture.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement: "There is no hiding place for anyone who kidnaps, tortures, and murders American law enforcement.

"Today's arrest is the culmination of tireless work by DEA and their Mexican partners to bring Caro Quintero to justice for his alleged crimes, including the torture and execution of DEA Special Agent Enrique 'Kiki' Camarena.

"We will be seeking his immediate extradition to the United States so he can be tried for these crimes in the very justice system Special Agent Camarena died defending."

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