Federal authorities posted a $5 million reward Monday for information on the whereabouts of a Mexican drug lord who escaped from prison in 2001.
Joaquin Guzman Loera - known as "Chapo" - is wanted in southern California for conspiracy to import cocaine, possession with intent to distribute, money laundering, and criminal forfeiture, the Drug Enforcement Administration said. Guzman has taken full control of his organization since his escape in January 2001, according to the DEA, which is offering the reward along with the U.S. State Department.
At the time of his escape, Guzman had been serving a 20-year sentence for bribery and criminal association in a maximum-security prison in Mexico. He was arrested in 1993 in Guatemala and had been in prison since 1995.
During the 1980s Guzman worked with kingpin Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, head of the El Padrino organization. Guzman left that group to start up his own smuggling operation, which soon became a rival.
In 1993, members of the El Padrino organization attempted to assassinate Guzman but instead hit prominent Catholic Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas and six other people outside Guadalajara airport.
In the early 1990s, Guzman used a complicated tunnel system in Douglas, Ariz., to import cocaine from Mexico. Authorities intercepted 7.3 tons of cocaine - hidden in cans of chili peppers - in the border city of Tecate, Mexico, in 1993.
Anyone with information about Guzman may call the DEA's hot line at 866-294-0820.
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