Joaquin ‘Shorty’ Guzman: Chicago names Mexican first Public Enemy No. 1 since Al Capone

This 10 July, 1993, file photo shows drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman . Credit: Getty Images
This 10 July, 1993, file photo shows drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman .
Credit: Getty Images

Chicago authorities designated the head of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel Public Enemy No. 1 on Thursday, a first in Chicago since gangster Al Capone earned the top spot after the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre 84 years ago.

Still, the level of violence and corruption generated by Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman and his cartel far exceeds that of Capone, the heads of the Chicago Crime Commission and the Chicago office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in their joint announcement.

“In my opinion, Guzman is the new Al Capone of Chicago,” Jack Riley, special agent in charge of the DEA in Chicago, said in a statement, adding that it “wouldn’t even be a fight” if the cartel were pitted against the Chicago Mob.

“His ability to corrupt and enforce his sanctions with his endless supply of revenue is more powerful than Chicago’s Italian organized crime gang,” Riley said of Guzman.

Guzman, known as “El Chapo” or “Shorty,” in Spanish, escaped a Mexican prison in a laundry basket in 2001 to become the country’s highest-profile trafficker, hauling tons of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin to U.S. markets in trucks, ultralight aircraft and through clandestine tunnels.

Included on the Forbes list of billionaires since 2009, Guzman has been indicted in the United States on dozens of charges of racketeering and conspiracy to import narcotics. Washington has a $5 million reward for the capture of El Chapo.

The Sinaloa cartel, which has trafficking networks throughout the Midwest, is waging an all-out war for turf with the rival Zetas cartel south of the border, stoking drug violence that has killed tens of thousands in recent years.

The Chicago Crime Commission, formed in 1919 to improve the criminal justice system, says it was first to release a list of top criminals known as the Public Enemies List. The FBI later adopted the list and named it the “Most Wanted.”

Capone was designated Public Enemy No. 1 in 1930, the year after an attack he ordered on George “Bugs” Moran’s rival gang at a North Side garage on February 14, 1929, that killed seven men, including a doctor who liked to hang out with gangsters.

The men were lined up along a wall by two men dressed as police officers and massacred by two other men using Thompson submachineguns, securing Capone’s place at the top of organized crime in Chicago and the public enemy list.

Riley said the Mexican cartel was so deeply embedded in Chicago that law enforcement officers have to operate as if Chicago were on the border with Mexico instead of 1,500 miles away.

The cartel is the major drug supplier in the Chicago area, generating tens of millions of dollars. Chicago and its suburbs also serve as a transit hub for drugs, putting Guzman’s fingerprints on much of the area violence, the commission said.

“Compared to Guzman, Al Capone looks like an amateur,” J.R. Davis, president and chairman of the Chicago Crime Commission, said in a statement.

Authorities appear to be closing in on Guzman. In recent months, U.S. and Mexican agents have arrested traffickers close to him and seized his assets on both sides of the border.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."