Navy officials said in a statement that 14 people were killed when a Mexican Navy helicopter crashed in Sinaloa on Friday. Mexico’s navy said a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in the coastal city of Los Mochis, but said it was not entirely clear what happened.
The Navy said fifteen people were evacuated as a result of the accident, of whom 14 died. One person is undergoing treatment.
The Navy said there was no information to suggest who the accident was related to.Notorious drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero. A US official tracking the raid told CBS News that the crash was linked to the operation, but said Quintero was not on board.
No additional information was immediately available about the accident.
The Navy said Caro Quintero, who was behind the 1985 murder of a US DEA agent, was caught nearly a decade after breaking out of a Mexican prison and returning to drug trafficking.
Caro Quintero was arrested after a sniffer named “Max” was found hiding in brush in the city of San Simon, Sinaloa state, during a joint operation by the Navy and the Attorney General’s Office, according to a Navy statement. The site was in the mountains near Sinaloa’s border with the northern border state of Chihuahua.
Mexico’s National Arrest Registry listed the time of Caro Quintero’s arrest at around noon. There were two arrest orders pending for him as well as an extradition request from the US government.
Caro Quintero was freed in 2013 after 28 years in prison, when a court overturned his 40-year sentence for the 1985 kidnapping and murder of US Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. The brutal murder marked a low point in US-Mexico relations.
An appeals court overturned Caro Quintero’s decision, butSentence. By then it was too late; Caro Quintero was excited in a waiting vehicle.
Caro Quintero, the former leader of the Guadalajara Cartel, had since returned to drug trafficking and started a bloody field battle in the northern Mexico border state of Sonora.
He was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, receiving a $20 million reward for capture through the State Department’s Narcotics Rewards Program. He was added to the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list in 2018.
Andres Troy contributed reporting.