After working with US intelligence for months, 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 on 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 on 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 organisation.
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 he was not 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.”
Elodia Beltran, who appeared with Guerrero at a press conference on Friday, said she is the mother of the detained man.
“He’s never been arrested,” she said. “This is a real injustice.”