- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 12, 2018

The man who is believed to have ordered the kidnapping and murder of a federal drug enforcement agent in the 1980s has been added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, coordinating efforts by multiple federal agencies and with a reward of up to $20 million for information leading to the arrest or prosecution of the criminal.

Alleged Mexican cartel leader Rafael Caro-Quintero was identified Thursday by the Drug Enforcement Agency for his alleged direction of the kidnapping and murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Salazar in 1985 and his ongoing work in trafficking drugs in Mexico, Costa Rica and the U.S.

It is the first time a DEA fugitive has been added to the FBI’s most wanted list and is the culmination of a joint effort by the the DEA, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. State Department.

A recently unsealed indictment by the DEA and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York also alleges that Caro-Quintero continues to operate as leader of a “criminal enterprise”, the Sinaloa drug cartel, based in Sinaloa, Mexico.

He is regarded as the “godfather” of the Guadalajara Cartel formed in the late 1970s and allegedly became one of the primary suppliers of heroin, cocaine and marijuana to the U.S.

The State Department is offering a reward of up to $20 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Caro-Quintero, who is also wanted on charges of racketeering.

The DEA said that Special Agent Carena — a former Marine, fireman, police officer and deputy sheriff —was “extremely close” to exposing a multimillion-dollar drug pipeline from Mexico to the U.S. when he was kidnapped on February 7, 1985 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

It is believed that he was killed within the first few days of being held but his body was not found until a month later.

Caro-Quintero is the 518th addition to the Ten Most Wanted list, of which 484 have been captured.

He is considered armed and extremely dangerous and is believed to be in his mid-60s, described as 6-feet tall and weighing 159 to 170 pounds. He was born in Badiraguatao, Sinaloa, Mexico and is known to frequent the area. Anyone with information on his whereabouts can reach the FBI online at tips.fbi.gov or by phone at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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