DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) - He is known as El Chapo. Joaquin Guzman Lira is an infamous criminal now captured. His drug empire stretches from Mexico to the Motor City.
Earlier today at a press conference Detroit Police Chief James Craig acknowledged the war on drugs saying "The network is just not these small time unorganized cowardly predators in Detroit."
Retired FBI Supervisor Andy Bartnowak says news of the arrest traveled fast and "This is something that should be celebrated and people should congratulate themselves over."
For years Bartnowak ran the gang and drug squad at the FBI Detroit Field Office. He says El Chapo and his associates are responsible for millions of dollars in drugs being shipped here to Detroit. He says in addition "The drive by shootings and violence that occurs here is because you have rival factions trying to control that particular drug trade. Marijuana, cocaine, meth, and heroine as well."
Guzman Lira was arrested at a Mexican Resort Hotel on Sat. Intel from ICE and DEA helped bring him down. As Former Chief of the Detroit Police Department, Warren Evans also knows the value of good info. He fought to keep guns and drugs off the streets for years. "What we tried to do was go after mid and upper level dealers" says Evans.
With four hours separating Detroit and Chicago where El Chapo had a stranglehold, there could now be a window of opportunity. Evans says "It will upset supply and when it does there, it will also upset supply here. The best time time for law enforcement to do anything is when the people they are looking for aren't on their game."
But the 56-year-old kingpin is resourceful and filthy rich. 701 on Forbes list of wealthy billionaires. Look for the U.S. to push for extradition for the man who bribed his way out of prison 13 years ago. "As long as he has the resources he has and there are vulnerable people in those jails it's a big issue and you're silly if you don't believe that" says Evans.