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Narcotics Rewards Program: Joaquin Guzman-Loera

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs


Date: 2015 Description: Narcotics Rewards Program: Joaquin Guzman-Loera - State Dept Image

(Aliases: El Chapo, Chapo Guzman, El Rapido)
DOB: December 25, 1954
POB: Mexico
Nationality: Mexican
Citizenship: Mexico
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Weight: 165 pounds
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown

Joaquin Guzman-Loera, aka El Chapo, became involved in drug trafficking in the late 1980s as a trafficker and air logistics expert for the once powerful Miguel Angel Felix-Gallardo. Guzman-Loera eventually became the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Guzman-Loera was arrested on June 9, 1993, in Mexico on charges related to murder and drug trafficking and was sentenced to a 20 year prison term. However, on January 19, 2001, Guzman-Loera escaped from the federal maximum security prison in Jalisco, Mexico. While on the run from Mexican authorities, Guzman-Loera reestablished himself as a top ranking member of the Sinaloa Cartel and leader of the Mexican drug trade, becoming the world’s #1 fugitive and a Forbes-listed billionaire. He was rearrested on February 22, 2014, in a modest resort hotel in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico as a result of a sustained operation. On July 11, 2015, he again escaped from Altiplano federal maximum security prison in the State of Mexico.

Guzman-Loera was in charge of the Guzman-Loera drug trafficking organization (DTO), which in turn is part of the larger Sinaloa Cartel. Under the leadership of Guzman-Loera and his partner Ismael Zambada-Garcia, the Sinaloa Cartel controls vast trafficking operations on an international scale, with the majority of its drugs being distributed to the United States. The Sinaloa Cartel bases its operations principally in the Mexican states of Sinaloa, Sonora, Durango and Baja California, although it also has representation in several other states throughout the Republic. In addition to its distribution cells in the United States, the DTO transports drug shipments to Canada, Australia, Europe, Africa and Asia. The Guzman-Loera DTO smuggles multi-ton cocaine shipments from South America through Central America into Mexico. The DTO is also involved in the manufacture, transport and distribution of methamphetamine and heroin. Additionally, the DTO operates several large scale marijuana plantations in Sinaloa and surrounding areas. The Sinaloa Cartel organization relies on bulk currency shipments to move drug proceeds across the United States-Mexico border.

Judicial Status: Guzman-Loera has been charged with drug trafficking and related crimes in several U.S. District Courts, to include the District of Arizona, the Southern District of California, the Western District of Texas, the Northern District of Illinois, the Eastern District of New York, and the Southern District of Florida. The first U.S. indictment against Guzman-Loera was unsealed in San Diego on September 28, 1995, charging him and 22 members of his organization with conspiracy to import over eight tons of cocaine and money laundering. Guzman-Loera remains a fugitive from justice in both the United States and the Republic of Mexico and there is currently a U.S. State Department REWARD OF UP TO $5 MILLION for information leading to his arrest.

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