The U.S. government says its agents and Mexican federal police worked together to arrest at least 22 alleged members of the drug cartel headed by Chapo Guzman.
The government has confirmed some of the details of a rare, publicly acknowledged, joint U.S.-Mexico operation with U.S. agents on Mexican soil.
The operation took place Friday (January 29) in the Mexican state of Sonora along the border with Arizona. Mexican federal police say in a statement that two alleged Sinaloa cartel members were killed after they opened fire on Mexican officers. The statement says the suspects were surrounded in a building where it’s alleged they were running a drug and migrant smuggling operation. 22 other alleged members of the Sinaloa Cartel were arrested.
The takedowns come less than a month after Mexican Marines – with U.S. assistance -recaptured Sinaloa’s leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán.
Gillian Christensen, the spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, said the operation – called “Mexican Operation Diablo Express.”
The arrests took place in Sonoyta, across the border from Lukeville, Arizona, and directly south of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge has a reputation as a soft point in the border exploited by drug smugglers and human traffickers.
– Lorne Matalon