Thursday, February 14, 2013
Cartel kingpin Chicago's new Public Enemy No. 1, $5 million reward
For the first time since Prohibition, Chicago has a new Public Enemy No. 1 — a drug kingpin in Mexico deemed so menacing that he's been assigned the famous label created for Al Capone.
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was singled out for his role as leader of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, which supplies the bulk of narcotics sold in the city, according to the Chicago Crime Commission and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
"What Al Capone was to beer and whiskey, Guzman is to narcotics," said Al Bilek, the commission's executive vice president, describing Guzman as a greater threat than Capone ever was.
Unlike Capone, Guzman doesn't live in Chicago. He lives far away in a mountain hideaway in western Mexico. But for all the havoc he creates in the nation's third-largest city, he ought to be treated as a local crime boss, the DEA's top Chicago official, Jack Riley, told The Associated Press in a recent interview.
His office joined the commission in handing out the moniker to Guzman.
Capone based his bootlegging and other criminal enterprises out of Chicago during Prohibition, when it was illegal to make or sell alcohol in the U.S. He eventually went to prison for income tax evasion, but he gained the most notoriety for the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre that left seven rivals dead.
Yet Riley says Guzman is more ruthless than Capone.
"If I was to put those two guys in a ring, El Chapo would eat that guy (Capone) alive," Riley said.
Sinaloa and other Mexican cartels that ship drugs to Chicago are rarely directly linked to slayings in the city, but Riley said cartel-led drug trafficking is an underlying cause of territorial battles between street gangs that are blamed for rising homicide rates.
He described Chicago as one of Sinaloa's most important cities, not only as a destination for drugs but as a hub to distribute them across the U.S.
"This is where Guzman turns his drugs into money," he said.
The U.S. government has offered a $5 million reward for his capture.
Read More... http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/02/14/chicago-cartel-public-enemy/1919117/