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9 Mexican marines reported killed in helicopter crash linked to capture of notorious drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, says source

Nine elite Mexican marines were reported killed on Friday after a helicopter crash involving operation to capture Notorious drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, a US official overseeing the raid, confirmed to CBS News. It appears that the accident was related to a mechanical problem and Quinto was not on board, the source said.

No additional information was immediately available about the accident.

Caro Quintero, the man behind the 1985 murder of the US DEA agent, was caught Friday nearly a decade after breaking out of a Mexican prison and returning to drug trafficking, sources confirmed to CBS News and The Associated Press.

An undated file photo provided by Mexico's government shows drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero at an undisclosed location.
An undated file photo provided by Mexico’s government shows drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero at an undisclosed location.

AP. Government of Mexico through


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 reversed Caro Quinto’s decision, but the Supreme Court upheld the sentence. 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.

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