That slippery reputation, coupled with the violent nature of his crimes, means Guzman is likely to serve his time in the "supermax" U. It is the highest-security federal prison in the country.
The Sinaloa Cartel remains a dominant drug trafficking organization in Mexico and maintains distribution hubs in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC delivered to your inbox.
'They were sent to the slaughter': Mexico mourns 13 police killed in cartel ambush
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Key Points. The kingpin, whose real name is Joaquin Guzman Loera, accused the U. El Chapo was convicted of overseeing a vast criminal operation, the Sinaloa Cartel, which funneled immense quantities of narcotics, including heroin and methamphetamine, into the United States, earning billions of dollars. VIDEO One of Guzman's notorious prison escapes, in , was made through a mile-long tunnel. His first escape, in , came when he hid in a prison laundry cart.
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Which are the largest cartels?
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Turkish president defends actions in Syria despite warnings. Troops did temporarily detain Ovidio Guzman Lopez during Thursday's operation in the city of Culiacan, officials said.
How DEA Agents Took Down Mexico's Most Vicious Drug Cartel
But as the battle dragged on, he was released and the operation was suspended to save lives, the country's defense secretary and security minister said Friday. Amidst mounting drug war deaths, Mexico's President sticks to his strategy. The battle, which sent families hiding in terror for hours, left seven people dead: Five "aggressors," one Mexican National Guard member, and one civilian, Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said on Twitter.
Mexico's Security Cabinet eventually suspended the operation "to protect the lives of the people," he said.
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He did not deny, when pressed by reporters, that Ovidio Guzman Lopez was released. Police patrol a street of Culiacan after gunmen fought an intense battle with security forces. Nine government soldiers or law enforcement officers who were captured by the suspected cartel members during the battle were released when the government stopped the operation, Mexican Secretary of National Defense Luis Cresencio said Friday during a news conference in Sinaloa.