News Release
March 21, 2003

Captured: Mexican Cartel Boss Osiel Cardenas-Guillen Violent Criminal had Threatened Federal Agents

Osiel Cardenas-Guillen arrestMarch 21 - One of the most wanted, feared, and violent drug traffickers in the world was captured on March 14th by law enforcement in Mexico. Osiel Cardenas-Guillen was head of a major Mexican drug trafficking organization that controlled large-scale marijuana and cocaine trafficking from Mexico to the United States.

The Cardenas-Guillen organization, formerly known as the Gulf Cartel, was responsible for the transportation of thousands of kilograms of drugs into the United States from Colombia through Mexico's Northeastern region. Moreover, millions of dollars returned to the drug traffickers through the same corridor. Through the combined efforts with the Government of Mexico, the DEA, FBI, and U.S. Customs, the Cardenas-Guillen reign on the Northeastern Mexico corridor came to a halt Friday March 14, 2003.

Osiel Cardenas-Guillen ArrestThis investigation, called "Operation Golden Grips" is an important arrest because it sends a message to traffickers that violence and intimidation will not protect them from law enforcement. The catalyst of this operation was the November, 1999, assault and attempted kidnapping of 2 U.S. Federal agents and a confidential source. On that day, CARDENAS-Guillen and twelve to fifteen members of his organization surrounded, assaulted, and attempted to kidnap a DEA Agent and an FBI Agent.

Osiel Cardenas-Guillen Arrest

Photos courtesy of Televisa Mexico

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