- US authorities are targeting Caro Quintero’s associates.
- Quintero is accused of trafficking drugs into the US.
- He is fighting EL Chapo’s sons in Caborca.
US authorities have placed sanctions on Lucio Rodriguez Serrano, a close acquaintance of fugitive drug lord Caro Quintero. According to a statement issued by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Serrano is accused of aiding Quintero in the trafficking of drugs into the United States.
He has also been tied to money laundering activities. Caro Quintero is wanted for the murder of DEA Agent Kiki Macarena in 1985. He was serving a 40 year jail-sentence when a judge ordered for his release in August 2013.
The ruling, which was based on a technicality, was briskly overturned, but efforts to recapture him have so far been fruitless. He now reportedly runs a drug trafficking syndicate in Mexico which smuggles tons of drugs into the United States each year.
According to Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator, Timothy Shea:
“Targeting his associates and support structure is crucial to choking off his criminal enterprise once and for all. Today’s action by Treasury is an important step in our joint mission to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy violent drug trafficking organizations and in bringing Caro Quintero to justice.”
The FBI has had drug trafficker Caro Quintero on its Most Wanted Fugitives list since 2018. The Narcotics Reward Program currently offers a $20 million award for information leading to his arrest. It is the highest bounty for a fugitive drug lord.
Back to the Rodriguez Serrano case, all assets tied to him in the United States are henceforth blocked. US entities are additionally prohibited from dealing with him and businesses that are connected to him.
The Walls are Closing In
The DEA has shown exemplary resolve in taking down Caro Quintero’s network. His inner circle, which is comprised of close family and associates, has become a main target.
In July, his stepson, Bryant Espinoza Aguilar, was indicted for violating the Kingpin Act. The rule prohibits US citizens from aiding narco-traffickers and entities embargoed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Espinoza Aguilar was accused of assisting Quintero by listing some of the drug trafficker’s assets under his name. Prior to that, Mexican authorities had also arrested, Ismael Quintero Arellanes, one of Caro Quintero’s nephews. The arrest occurred following a tipoff by US authorities about his activities. He was charged with drug trafficking and weapons possession.
At War with El Chapo’s Sons
Caro Quintero is currently reported to be involved in a turf war with drug lord El Chapo’s sons. Widely referred to as the Los Chapitos, their feud with the 68-year-old has intensified in recent months, with the majority of clashes happening in Caborca, Sonora.
The fugitive drug lord is reported to be backing the La Linea criminal group which operates in the region. The group is fighting the Los Salazar, a syndicate allied to Los Chapitos.