Detained man not son of drug lord: Mexico
AP and AFP
June 24, 2012, 12:05 am TWN
MEXICO CITY -- After working months with U.S. intelligence, the Mexican navy said it believed it had nabbed a big prize in a known Guadalajara narco-haven: the son of Mexico's top fugitive drug lord.
But it turned out they got the wrong man.
The man arrested Thursday as the presumed son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is really Felix Beltran Leon, 23, and not Alfredo Guzman Salazar, as the Mexican Navy had presented him, the Attorney General's Office said Friday.
The stocky, baby-faced suspect had been presented as the son of Guzman, the chief of the Sinaloa Cartel, and a Navy official described him as a rising operator in the international drug trafficking organization.
But Beltran Leon's wife, Karla Pacheco, said he is the father of a toddler and works with his mother-in-law at a used car dealership.
The Attorney General's Office said that “necessary tests” had proved that he wasn't the drug lord's son, but said he would remain under investigation for the guns and money found during his arrest.
The Attorney General's Office issued a statement earlier Friday saying the original information on his identity came from the United States.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said the information came from Mexico, noting that the DEA is working separately to confirm the man's identity. An official with the DEA who asked not to be identified told AFP that Beltran Leon was in fact a “top drug lieutenant” to Guzman's son.
Elodia Beltran appeared with Guerrero at a press conference Friday saying she is the mother of the detained man.
“He's never been arrested,” she said. “This is a real injustice.”
Pacheco said the couple and their 1-year-old were sleeping in their home in Zapopan, a suburb of the western city of Guadalajara, when marines kicked in the door and arrested her husband and his half-brother, 19-year-old Kevin Daniel Beltran Rios.
Authorities identified Beltran Rios as an alleged member of the Sinaloa Cartel.