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Narcotics Rewards Program: Joaquin Guzman-Loera

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs


Joaquin Guzman-Loera(Aliases: El Chapo, Chapo Guzman, El Rapido)
DOB: December 25, 1954
POB: Mexico
Nationality: Mexican
Citizenship: Mexico
Height: 5 feet 8 inches
Weight: 165 pounds
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown

Joaquin Guzman-Loera, aka El Chapo, became involved in drug trafficking in the late 1980s as a trafficker and air logistics expert for the once powerful Miguel Angel Felix-Gallardo. Guzman-Loera eventually became the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. Subsequent to the dissolution of Guzman-Loera’s relationship with Felix-Gallardo, a rivalry developed between the Guzman-Loera and Palma-Salazar Organizations and the Arellano-Felix Organization over control of the lucrative Tijuana corridor and border region.

Guzman-Loera was arrested on June 9, 1993, in the Mexican State of Chiapas, on charges related to murder and drug trafficking and was sentenced to a 20 year prison term. However, on January 19, 2001, Guzman-Loera escaped from the federal maximum security prison in Guadalajara, Jalisco, allegedly with the assistance of prison officials. While on the run from Mexican authorities, Guzman-Loera has reestablished himself as a high ranking member of the Mexican drug trade.

The Guzman-Loera Organization smuggles multi-ton cocaine shipments from Colombia through Mexico to the United States. The organization uses both air and maritime means to transport these shipments. The Guzman-Loera organization has contacts with Colombian sources of supply in Colombia, as well as major Colombian traffickers based in Mexico. Guzman-Loera has bases of operation in Sinaloa, Sonora, and Chihuahua, Mexico. The organization has distribution cells throughout the United States, including cells in Arizona, California, Texas, Chicago, and New York. The organization has also been involved in the transshipment, storage, and distribution of marijuana and heroin. The Guzman-Loera organization relies on bulk currency shipments to move drug proceeds across the United States-Mexico border.

Judicial Status: On March 24, 1993, Guzman-Loera was charged with drug violations, money laundering and racketeering in the District of Arizona. In addition a Federal indictment was unsealed in San Diego on September 28, 1995, charging Guzman-Loera and 22 members of his organization with conspiracy to import over eight tons of cocaine and money laundering. A provisional arrest warrant was issued as a result of this indictment. Guzman-Loera remains a fugitive from justice in the both the United States and the Republic of Mexico and there is currently a U.S. State Department REWARD OF UP TO $5 MILLION for information leading to his arrest.

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