Filed Under:  Cartels, Mexico, Sinaloa, Sinaloa Cartel

Mexico troops detain son of most-wanted drug lord

June 23rd 2012   ·   0 Comments

After working months with U.S. intelligence, the Mexican navy said it believed it had nabbed a big prize in a known Guadalajara narco-haven: the son of Mexico’s top fugitive drug lord.

Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar is presented to the media in Mexico City, Thursday, June 21, 2012. Mexican marines detained Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, 26, who is allegedly one of the sons of Mexico’s most-wanted drug kingpin, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, leader of the powerful Sinaloa cartel. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

But it turned out they got the wrong man.

The man arrested Thursday as the presumed son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is really Felix Beltran Leon, 23, and not Alfredo Guzman Salazar, as the Mexican Navy had presented him, the Attorney General’s Office said Friday.

The stocky, baby-faced suspect had been presented as the son of Guzman, the chief of the Sinaloa Cartel, and a Navy official described him as a rising operator in the international drug trafficking organization.

But Beltran Leon’s wife, Karla Pacheco, said he is the father of a toddler and works with his mother-in-law at a used car dealership.

The Attorney General’s Office said that “necessary tests” had proved that he wasn’t the drug lord’s son, but said he would remain under investigation for the guns and money found during his arrest.

“There is total confusion,” said Beltran Leon’s lawyer Veronica Guerrero,”… which is having a serious effect on their personal and family situation.”

The Attorney General’s Office issued a statement earlier Friday saying the original information on his identity came from the United States.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said the information came from Mexico.

“The Mexican Navy and Mexican law enforcement have said this is El Chapo’s son and that’s what we took,” said DEA spokesman Rusty Payne, noting that the DEA is working separately to confirm the man’s identity.

Pacheco showed The Associated Press what she said were her husband’s voting credential and driver’s license. The man arrested bears only slight resemblance to a photograph of Guzman’s son recently issued by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Guzman Salazar and his father were indicted on multiple drug trafficking charges in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in August 2009, the U.S. Treasury Department said earlier this month, when it announced it had placed financial sanctions on Guzman Salazar and his mother, Maria Alejandrina Salazar Hernandez.

Elodia Beltran appeared with Guerrero at a press conference Friday saying she is the mother of the detained man.

“He’s never been arrested,” she said. “This is a real injustice.”

Pacheco said the couple and their 1-year-old were sleeping in their home in Zapopan, a suburb of the western city of Guadalajara, when marines kicked in the door and arrested her husband and his half-brother, 19-year-old Kevin Daniel Beltran Rios.

Authorities identified Beltran Rios as an alleged member of the Sinaloa Cartel.

The men were found with a grenade launcher and four grenades, two assault rifles, two pistols and $135,000 in cash, the navy said. Pacheco said there were no drugs or guns, but the family did have the cash because of a recent home sale.

Another lawyer, Heriberto Rangel Mendez, said the government planted the weapons.

Zapopan has been the scene of much drug violence and arrests. It’s where Guzman’s other son, Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar, also known as “El Chapito,” was detained on money laundering charges in 2005, and where top Sinaloa lieutenant, Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, was killed in a 2010 shootout with Mexican army.

Pacheco said her husband works at Autos Pacheco, a used car dealership that gunmen attacked in May, killing one man. The target was a customer looking at cars, not the business, Pacheco said, though media reports said the dealership owner was killed.

“We’ve never had any links to drug traffickers,” Pacheco said. “He’s not the person they say he is.”

The possible misidentification could be embarrassing for both countries in the cat-and-mouse game they are playing with Guzman, who has been on the run since escaping from a Mexican prison in a laundry cart in 2001. The Treasury Department has called Guzman the world’s most powerful drug lord.

Both countries are conducting an intense manhunt for Guzman. Mexican authorities said they narrowly missed him in February as he was vacationing in the Baja resort of Los Cabos under the nose of heavy security during an international meeting of foreign ministers, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.


Associated Press Writer Arturo Perez contributed to this report from Guadalajara, Mexico.

Related Posts:

Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

What is 7 + 6 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)


There may be graphic photographs that accompany some articles in the body of this report. It is not our intention to sensationalize. We include these photos in order to give to you, the American public, a clearer understanding of the seriousness of the situation we are in.


Why do you think the drug cartels are more violent in Mexico than the U.S.A.

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


Opinions expressed by contributing writers are expressly their own and may or may not represent the opinions of The US Open Borders, its editorial staff, board or organization. Reprint inquiries should be directed to the author of the article. Contact the editor for a link request to The US Open Borders. The US Open Borders is not affiliated with any mainstream media organizations. The US Open Borders is not supported by any political organization. The US Open Borders is a non-profit, non-partisan research and educational initiative. Responsibility for the accuracy of cited content is expressly that of the contributing author. All original content offered by The US Open Borders is copyrighted. US Open Borders goal is the liberation of the American voter from partisan politics and special interests in government through the primary-source, fact-based education of the American people.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance a more in-depth understanding of critical issues facing the world. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.