On Thursday the Chicago Crime Commission designated Sinaloa drug cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman as Public Enemy No. 1.
Guzman became the first to hold the classification since gangster Al Capone earned the top spot after the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre 84 years ago.
"Compared to Guzman, Al Capone looks like an amateur," Chicago Crime Commission president and chairman J.R. Davis said in a statement.
Mexican cartels, dominated by Sinaloa, are pushing billions of dollars worth of drugs in the city by employing more than 100,000 gang members to sling cocaine, marijuana, heroin and meth on the streets while cartel members blend in with the metro area's two million Hispanic residents.
Jack Riley, special agent in charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, believes the increasing cartel presence in the city has contributed to the spiking murder rate. (Last month was the city's deadliest January in 11 years.)
In court documents, a high-ranking member of Sinaloa currently in U.S. custody asserted that Guzman is a U.S. informant, Sinaloa was "given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago," and Operation Fast and Furious was part of an agreement to finance and arm the cartel in exchange for information used to take down its rivals.
The claims were corroborated by a Mexican foreign service officer who doubled as a confidential source for the U.S. security firm Stratfor when he alleged that the U.S. government works with Mexican cartels to traffic drugs into the U.S., adding that in 2010 the U.S. sided with Sinaloa in an attempt to limit the violence in Mexico.
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