Ismael Zambada is an old-fashioned capo in an era of younger kingpins known for their flamboyant lifestyles of club-hopping and brutal tactics of beheading, dismembering and even skinning their rivals. While the elder Zambada fights challengers, he is known for concentrating on the business side of drug trafficking and avoiding the gruesome violence that draws attention.
Ismael Zambada faces several indictments in the United States, including one that accuses the kingpin and another son of using planes, boats, trucks and cars to move nearly $50 million worth of cocaine from Colombia to New York, New Jersey, Chicago and California between August 2001 and June 2002.
The other son, Vicente Zambada, was arrested in 2009 in Mexico City and extradited to the United States. He awaits trial in Chicago.
The U.S. government has offered up to $5 million for arrest leading to Ismael Zambada's arrest or conviction.