Wednesday, February 21, 2018
News Roundup

World's top drug trafficker arrested in Mexico

MEXICO CITY — Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the man who supplied more illegal drugs to the United States than anyone else on Earth, was captured by Mexican navy commandos without a shot early Saturday morning in the Pacific coast resort town of Mazatlan, according to U.S. and Mexican authorities.

The arrest of the world's most-wanted drug lord was electrifying news in Mexico and a major political victory for its president, Enrique Peña Nieto. On Saturday afternoon, Peña Nieto confirmed the capture in a tweet and thanked his security forces. "Congratulations to all," he wrote.

After 13 years on the lam, Guzman was found, with the help of information provided by U.S. law enforcement officials, in a condo building known as Miramar, several blocks off the beach in Mazatlan. He was arrested, flown to Mexico City and frog-marched by the back of the neck in front of TV cameras across a navy base tarmac to prove he had been found.

The arrest challenges two central criticisms of the Mexican government: that security cooperation with the United States had deteriorated, and that it had eased off on Guzman's cartel in favor of other targets. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the arrest a "landmark achievement, and a victory for the citizens of both Mexico and the United States."

Guzman, 56, ran an organized crime empire that spanned several continents and earned billions of dollars. He built a shipping and transport empire that plied air, sea and roads to sate the world's demand for cocaine, heroin and marijuana. From Los Angeles warehouses to Chicago barrios, his network criss-crossed America to supply customers.

His Sinaloa cartel is the grandfather of Mexican drug-running organizations, the wealthiest and most powerful corporation in the business, whose riches have corrupted generations of Mexican politicians and corroded the nation's democracy.

"He's a legend," security analyst Jorge Chabat said in Mexico City. "He is the jewel of the crown."

Authorities had been closing in on Guzman and his associates over the past few weeks with operations in his home state of Sinaloa, a sliver of land on the Pacific coast. Several of his associates had been arrested.

In a brief news conference announcing his capture, Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said the arrest was performed "impeccably."

"There was not one bit of damage or anyone injured," he said.

Guzman separated himself from other drug lords because of his longevity and ability to evade the law for years. Captured in Guatemala in 1993, Guzman was sent to Mexico's high-security Puente Grande prison. He escaped in 2001 on the eve of his extradition to the United States. Legend has it that he sneaked out in a laundry cart.

Guzman has been on the run ever since, periodically surfacing in Mexican beach resorts, Central American villages, even South America, only to vanish before authorities arrived.

Comments
Florida lawmaker’s aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors

Florida lawmaker’s aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors

It bubbled up from the darkest online corners then began to take off: conspiracy theories about Parkland students who’ve spent the past week on TV demanding action on the gun violence that killed 17 and reawakened a national debate.By late Tuesday af...
Updated: 2 minutes ago

Updated: 5 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Feb. 20

Tuesday’s scoreboardSoftballAdmiral Farragut 17, St. Petersburg Cath. 0BaseballGulf Coast HEAT 9, Canterbury 4Calvary Chr. 6, Lakeland Chr. 1
Updated: 5 hours ago
Officers: When an active shooter attacks, survive by taking action

Officers: When an active shooter attacks, survive by taking action

LARGO — An Illinois teacher used confrontation. A campus safety monitor in Seattle attacked with pepper spray and physical force. An assistant football coach in Indiana shouted as he chased him into the woods.All were civilians who took down an activ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Under a new law, some public schools will be managed by companies. Pinellas is getting ready

Under a new law, some public schools will be managed by companies. Pinellas is getting ready

LARGO — Pinellas County School Board members are not happy about the prospect of having to hand over academic control at three struggling schools to a private company, and paying the firm up to $2 million on top of it. But that’s the course they must...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Career Q&A: Nut allergy is a serious workplace concern

Career Q&A: Nut allergy is a serious workplace concern

Q: My manager has recently started eating nuts at her desk, which is located right next to mine. Unfortunately, I have a serious nut allergy, so any contact with them could produce a life-threatening reaction. Even foods which contain tiny pieces of ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lawsuit accuses FSU fraternity, national chapter of negligence in pledge’s death

Lawsuit accuses FSU fraternity, national chapter of negligence in pledge’s death

The parents of Andrew Coffey, the Florida State University student who died from alcohol poisoning after an apparent hazing episode last year, have sued the national Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and nine of its members for their son’s death.Coffey, who wa...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Cracking the peanut allergy; Clooneys inspire $2M celebrity donations to March For Our Lives; lawyer admits lying to Mueller team; more in U.S. news

Cracking the peanut allergy; Clooneys inspire $2M celebrity donations to March For Our Lives; lawyer admits lying to Mueller team; more in U.S. news

NationCracking the allergyThe first treatment to help prevent serious allergic reactions to peanuts may be on the way. California’s Aimmune Therapeutics said Tuesday that its daily capsules of peanut powder helped children build tolerance in a major ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

The 2017 St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race was celebrated as more than a competitive regatta to Cuba’s capital city of Havana.The relaunch of the maritime competition canceled since 1959 was hailed as a reflection of the detente started under former P...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Fingerprint on Gatorade bottle leads to arrest of man, 23, in sexual assault of 71-year-old woman

Fingerprint on Gatorade bottle leads to arrest of man, 23, in sexual assault of 71-year-old woman

NEW PORT RICHEY — The 23-year-old man wanted in connection with sexually assaulting a 71-year-old woman on Monday left behind the clue that deputies said led them right to him: A fingerprint on a Gatorade bottle.Deputies said that and other evidence ...
Updated: 9 hours ago