Cross-Border Raid Busts 24 in El Chapo's Cartel

Daylong US-Mexico operation at Arizona border nets big results
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 31, 2016 5:54 AM CST
Cross-Border Raid Busts 24 in El Chapo's Cartel
This Feb. 22, 2014 file photo shows Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, being escorted to a helicopter in Mexico City.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)

American and Mexican authorities cooperated in a daylong cross-border raid that resulted in the arrest of 24 alleged high-level members of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's Sinaloa drug cartel, reports the AP. The sting known as Mexican Operation Diablo Express took place all of Friday as numerous law enforcement agencies converged onto Lukeville, Ariz., which sits on the Mexican border. Homeland Security Investigations, a unit of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, helped Mexican authorities nab the cartel members, who were operating around Sonoyta, Mexico, and the US border, ICE rep Gillian Christensen said. The DEA, FBI, Customs and Border Protection, and Arizona state and local agencies were on hand. "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," Christensen said, per CNN.

ICE helped Mexican federal police into the US to keep them safe during the operation, Christensen said. The sting also netted the seizure of several assault-type weapons and hundreds of pounds of drugs. "ICE applauds the government of Mexico for their bold action in taking down this criminal organization and for their continued pressure on the Sinaloa Cartel throughout Mexico," Christensen said. The arrests are the latest blow to the Sinaloa Cartel after the arrest of El Chapo on Jan. 8. The 24 people arrested Friday have not been identified. They are in the custody of Mexican authorities, and the US will seek extradition. (More Sinaloa drug cartel stories.)

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