MEXICO CITY – After working months with U.S. intelligence, the Mexican navy said it believed it had nabbed a big prize in a known Guadalajara narco-haven: the son of Mexico’s top fugitive drug lord.
But it turned out they got the wrong man.
The man arrested Thursday as the presumed son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is really Felix Beltran Leon, 23, and not Alfredo Guzman Salazar, as the Mexican Navy had presented him, the Attorney General’s Office said Friday.
The stocky, baby-faced suspect had been presented as the son of Guzman, the chief of the Sinaloa Cartel, and a Navy official described him as a rising operator in the international drug trafficking organization.
But Beltran Leon’s wife, Karla Pacheco, said he is the father of a toddler and works with his mother-in-law at a used car dealership.
The Attorney General’s Office said that “necessary tests” had proved that he wasn’t the drug lord’s son, but said he would remain under investigation for the guns and money found during his arrest.
“There is total confusion,” said Beltran Leon’s lawyer Veronica Guerrero, “… which is having a serious effect on their personal and family situation.”
The Attorney General’s Office issued a statement earlier Friday saying the original information on his identity came from the United States. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said the information came from Mexico.
Pacheco showed the Associated Press what she said were her husband’s voting credential and driver’s license.