Fugitive drug lord finally detained after 14 die in helicopter crash trying to catch him

Rafael Caro Quintero was found hiding in a bush by a search dog called Max (Picture: AP)

Some 14 people were Ki**ed during a military operation to catch a notorious drug lord who has been on the run for almost a decade.

Rafael Caro Quintero, 69, infamously ordered the torture and murder of a US drug enforcement agent in Mexico in 1985.

He was jailed in Mexico for 40 years but was able to escape in 2013, after serving just 28 years, and went straight back to drug trafficking.

The criminal, who was one of the US’s main heroin, cocaine and weed suppliers in the late 1970s, was on the FBI’s top 10 most-wanted list in 2018 with a $20 million (£16.8 million) reward.

He was finally caught this week, after a search dog called Max found him hiding in a bush in the town of San Simon, Sinaloa.

Although the operation was successful, it came at a very high cost.

A Blackhawk helicopter with 15 people working on the mission crashed near the coastal city of Los Mochis and 14 died. The only survivor is severely injured.

Agents escort drug trafficker Rafael Caro Quintero (Picture: AP)
Emergency personnel work next to a navy Blackhawk helicopter crashed after supporting those who conducted the capture (Picture: AP)
A Mexican marine and six-year-old hound ‘Max’ ‘Max’ walk towards a waiting helicopter (Picture: AP)
Rafael Caro Quintero will be held at the maximum security Altiplano prison (Picture: Getty)
The FBI offered a $20 million (£16.8 million) reward for Quintero in 2018 (Picture: Getty)
Quintero escaped his 40-year sentence in 2013 (Picture: Reuters)

Mexican officials said the tragedy was an ‘accident’ but the cause has not been determined.

Quintero will be held at the maximum security Altiplano prison, about 50 miles west of Mexico City, until he is extradited to the US.

The former leader of the Guadalajara cartel is feared for his violence, and seen as a major player in turf wars which have plagued the northern Mexico border state of Sonora for years.

With the help of corrupt officials, Quintero ordered the kidnap and killing of the 37-year-old US agent Enrique Camarena on February 7 in 1985.

Quintero blamed the agent for a raid on one of his marijuana plantations the year before.

The infamous drug lord is also believed to have ordered the torture and murder of US tourists John Clay Walker, 36 and Albert Radelat, 33, on January 30 in 1985.

John, an aspiring novelist, and Radelat, a dentistry student, are said to have accidentally walked in on one of Quintero’s private parties.

Mistaking them to be drug enforcement agents, Quintero allegedly ordered them to be taken into the restaurant store room to be beaten and tortured with ice picks.

It is believed that Radalat was still alive when he and his friend were wrapped in table cloths and buried.

Their bodies were found six months later.

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