The old adage goes, “cut off the head of the snake and the snake dies.” This seems to be what the authorities of the world were hoping for with the hunt and recapture of world-class drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. On Friday, El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel was dealt another heavy blow when 24 members were busted during a sting at the border where Mexico and Arizona meet.
For the raid known as “Mexican Operation Diablo Express,” the Mexican authorities were aided by the Scottsdale PD, other Arizona law enforcement officials, the FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the DEA according to CNN. The operation targeted criminal activity in the vicinity of the Sonoyta area. Mexican agents were brought into the United States for safe-keeping during the raid. “Due to the sensitive nature, this operation was conducted with utmost secrecy to maintain the element of surprise and to ensure the safety of the Mexican law enforcement officers executing it,” said ICE spokeswoman Gillian M. Christensen.
According to the authorities, along with the arrests, several “assault-type weapons” and hundreds of pounds of narcotics were seized. Christensen elaborated, “The targeted Sinaloa cell has been responsible for the importation of millions of pounds of illegal drugs, including marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, into the United States from Mexico.” The cartel cell is also accused of smuggling weapons and millions of dollars into Mexico.
Those arrested are in custody in Mexico. Like El Chapo, they may be extradited to the United States for prosecution.