Rafael Caro Quintero was detained by Marines after he was found hiding in bushes by a navy dog in the town of San Simón, Choix municipality, in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, according to a Mexican Navy statement.
The Mexican Navy Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Los Mochis, Sinaloa following the operation to capture him, according to the statement. One other Marine was injured and remains in hospital.
The cause of the crash was unknown and an investigation would take place, the statement added.
Camarena Salazar was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in retaliation for a raid in 1984 of Caro Quintero’s 2,500-acre marijuana farm by Mexican authorities, according to the DEA. The events were serialized in the Netflix drama “Narcos: Mexico.”
The fugitive returned to drug trafficking as a senior leader of the Sinaloa cartel, according to the FBI.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday the United States will seek immediate extradition of Caro Quintero so he can be tried “in the very justice system (DEA) Special Agent Camarena died defending.”
“There is no hiding place for anyone who kidnaps, tortures, and murders American law enforcement,” Garland said.
In 2018, US authorities announced a $20 million reward for Caro Quintero. He has previously said attempts to arrest him were “misplaced vengeance” — “conveniently rewriting history,” according to the DEA.
DEA agents based in Mexico worked with Mexican authorities to locate and arrest Quintero, DEA administrator Anne Milgram said in a note to the agency’s workforce Friday evening.
“For more than 30 years, the men and women of DEA have worked tirelessly to bring Caro Quintero to justice,” Milgram said. “Today’s arrest is the result of years of your blood, sweat, and tears. Without your work, Caro Quintero would not face justice.”
Additional reporting by CNN’s Josh Campbell.