Head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Drug Cartel Captured and Arrested

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, was captured last weekend at a hotel in Mazatlan by Mexican and U.S. authorities, according to a news article at The Detroit News. The cartel was known for transporting cocaine into Michigan; Guzman is thought to be the most elusive and powerful drug lord in the world, and a legendary outlaw.

A senior U.S. law enforcement official said that the capture involved the Marshals Service and U.S. DEA, and that Guzman, who is 56 years old, was located at the beach resort town with an unidentified woman. There were no reports of gunfire during the capture.

Leo Sharp, a resident of Indiana, was pulled over in October of 2011 on Interstate 94 in Washtenaw County. Sharp was trafficking drugs for the cartel from Arizona to Detroit, and was discovered with 200 pounds of cocaine. He was indicted after the DEA conducted a sting involving 19 suspects. The indictment revealed that members of the drug ring met at a Wyandotte warehouse, where the cocaine was unloaded and distributed to the members.

Prior to his arrest, authorities had been in pursuit of Guzman for several weeks. Over the past week, ten mid-level cartel members have been taken down by authorities, along with several top Sinaloa operatives.

On the DEA’s most wanted list, Guzman now faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U.S. The Sinaloa Cartel is far reaching and involves Australia, Europe, and North America. Guzman escaped from prison in a laundry truck in 2001, and has eluded authorities ever since. In his dozen years on the run, he has grown his fortune to upwards of $1 billion according to Forbes Magazine.

Now that he has been captured, it is highly likely that Guzman will face the rest of his life behind bars. Federal drug charges are extremely serious, and often result in life-changing consequences for those convicted.

While few people deal in cocaine, heroin, or other drugs at Guzman’s level, even possessing or distributing a small amount of an illegal narcotic drug can leave those accused facing years in prison and substantial fines. If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with manufacturing meth, marijuana possession, distributing cocaine, heroin, or other illegal substances or any drug offense, it is imperative you take action immediately to protect your legal rights and freedom. Contact a highly experienced and aggressive Michigan drug crime defense attorney.

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