Identity of alleged Mexican capo's son questioned

Associated Press Modified: June 22, 2012 at 11:00 pm •  Published: June 22, 2012
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MEXICO CITY (AP) — 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.

"The Mexican Navy and Mexican law enforcement have said this is El Chapo's son and that's what we took," said DEA spokesman Rusty Payne, noting that the DEA is working separately to confirm the man's identity.

Pacheco showed The Associated Press what she said were her husband's voting credential and driver's license. The man arrested bears only slight resemblance to a photograph of Guzman's son recently issued by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Guzman Salazar and his father were indicted on multiple drug trafficking charges in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in August 2009, the U.S. Treasury Department said earlier this month, when it announced it had placed financial sanctions on Guzman Salazar and his mother, Maria Alejandrina Salazar Hernandez.

Elodia Beltran appeared with Guerrero at a press conference Friday saying she is the mother of the detained man.

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