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Mexico captures 'El Negro,' son of Sinaloa Cartel leader 'El Azul'

By Andrew V. Pestano
Mexico captures 'El Negro,' son of Sinaloa Cartel leader 'El Azul'
Mexico's National Security Commissioner Renato Sales, seen here during a press conference on Monday, said authorities captured a key member of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel. The suspect has been identified as Juan Jose "El Negro" Esparragoza Monzon, the son of top Sinaloa Cartel leader Juan Jose "El Azul" Esparragoza Moreno. Photo courtesy of Mexico Interior Ministry

Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Mexico's National Security Commissioner Renato Sales said police captured the son of Juan Jose "El Azul" Esparragoza Moreno, a top leader in Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel.

In a press conference on Monday, Sales said the Federal Police's anti-drug squad captured Juan José "N" -- identified by Mexican outlets as Juan Jose "El Negro" Esparragoza Monzon -- on Thursday.

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Sales said the 45-year-old suspect is "is likely responsible for coordinating a drug distribution network" and "is also likely responsible for administering financial resources of a criminal organization."

"Security Cabinet institutions reaffirm our commitment to maintain and strengthen security policy," Sales said at the press conference.

Esparragoza Monzon was arrested along with another suspect identified only as Jesús, Proceso reported. Authorities said officers seized a firearm and numerous packages filled with cocaine.

Authorities have not confirmed "El Azul" Esparragoza Moreno's death, though relatives in 2014 saying he died after a heart attack.

Guzman last week pleaded not guilty to numerous criminal charges in New York over his role in establishing drug trafficking's most power cartel. He was extradited from Mexico to the United States on Thursday, to the surprise of some law enforcement agencies despite Sales in October saying Mexico hoped to extradite the drug lord "in January or February."

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