Photo: Felix Beltran Leon, not Chapo's son
Mexican authorities confirmed that a man arrested earlier this week and initially reported to be the son of fugitive drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman is in fact another individual.
“After conducting the necessary tests to determine their identities, we found that (the two suspects presented to the media Thursday) are Felix Beltran Leon and Kevin Daniel Beltran Rios, ages 23 and 19, respectively,” the federal Attorney General’s Office said in a statement Friday.
“On June 21, members of the Navy Secretariat presented two people, one of whom was believed to be Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar,” Chapo’s son, the AG’s office said.
The men were arrested on charges of “organized crime, possession of firearms for exclusive use of the army, navy and air force, and transactions with illicitly acquired funds,” it added.
Without providing further details on the suspects, the AG’s office said the ongoing investigation will support the allegations against them.
A source with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration had told Efe earlier Friday that the young man initially identified as Chapo’s son was in fact an individual named Felix Beltran Leon.
That detainee “is one of the bosses who sells drugs for Chapo’s son in (the western state of) Jalisco,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
Several hours earlier, a woman identifying herself as Elodia Leon Vega told reporters in Guadalajara, Jalisco’s capital, that her son, Felix Beltran Leon, had been wrongly identified as the drug kingpin’s relative.
“They’re badly confusing him,” she said in the company of her attorney, rejecting any link between her son and Guzman’s family.
Both said the 23-year-old suspect was born in Los Angeles and is the half-brother of the other detainee, Beltran Rios, for whom they provided no details.
Chapo Guzman, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, tops the list of Mexico’s 37 most-wanted criminals and is on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people.
He was captured in Guatemala in 1993 and extradited to Mexico, where he was convicted and sentenced to prison. But the drug lord escaped from a maximum-security prison in 2001 and remains at large.
Since the jailbreak, Chapo has built his Sinaloa cartel into Mexico’s most powerful criminal organization.