Notorious cartel leader Rafael Caro Quintero, who was captured after a lengthy manhunt that turned deadly, was portrayed in the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico.
Quintero, a longtime target of U.S. law enforcement, was arrested Friday after a search team — aided by a search dog named Max — found him hiding out in the town of San Simon in Sinaloa, Mexico, according to Mexican officials. But in a tragic twist fit for the drama series, 14 members of Mexico’s navy died and one more was injured after their Blackhawk helicopter crashed following the mission. The cause of the crash is not yet known.
The drug lord had long been one of the FBI’s most wanted criminals, with a $20 million bounty placed on him through the State Department’s Narcotics Rewards Program. Known as the “narco of narcos,” Quintero is considered to have run one of the most powerful drug trafficking units, the Guadalajara Cartel, in Mexico in the 1980s.
He and his men were convicted of the 1985 kidnapping, torture, and murder of U.S. DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, whom Quintero blamed for a raid on his marijuana plantation the year prior. After serving 28 years behind bars, Quintero was freed by a Mexican judge on a technicality in 2013, and subsequently disappeared only to reemerge as a member of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Carlos Somonte/Netflix Tenoch Huerta and Diego Luna in ‘Narcos: Mexico.’
Camarena’s horrific killing was brought to life for season 1 of the Netflix crime drama, with actor Tenoch Huerta taking on the role of the drug trafficker and Michael Peña starring as Camarena for the show’s haunting storyline.
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