CHICAGO (CBS) — The DEA and Chicago Crime Commission have named a Mexican drug trafficker “Public Enemy Number One.”
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports the federal government considers Joaquin Guzman Loera, also known as “El Chapo Guzman” or “Shorty,” to be the most powerful and ruthless drug trafficker in the world.
Jack Riley, special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chicago office, said the reach of Guzman’s cartel extends all the way to Chicago, and is to blame for much of the gang violence in the area.
“The Sinaloa Cartel is our number one problem here in this region,” he said. “That is headed by probably the most dangerous criminal in the world, in my opinion; a guy by the name of Chapo Guzman, who hides on a mountain like a coward in Mexico.”
While in hiding, Guzman is in constant contact with surrogates in the Midwest, and issues orders affecting street crime in Chicago, according to Riley.
The DEA and the Chicago Crime Commission said Guzman’s fingerprints are on much of the street violence in the city, and they have named him “Public Enemy Number One.”
“Guzman is one of society’s most vicious, ruthless and powerful individuals,” the Crime Commission said in a written statement. “The Sinaloa Cartel has found willing business partners among the 100,000 street gang members in Chicago and in the suburbs.”
“Public Enemy Number One” was originally coined by the Chicago Crime Commission in 1930 for Al Capone, and hasn’t been used by the group since; however, the FBI has also used the term to describe notorious Chicago bank robbers John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson
“Not since Al Capone has any criminal deserved this title more than Joaquin Guzman Loera. Guzman, who is the major supplier of narcotics to Chicago,” the Crime Commission said.
Guzman has been indicted on federal drug charges in Chicago, but remains in hiding in Mexico.