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NEWS: Crime

Officials Believe Capturing Mexico's 'Most Wanted Drug Lord' Could Impact OK

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The drug smuggler, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Shorty in English has known ties to every major city in the US - including Oklahoma. The drug smuggler, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Shorty in English has known ties to every major city in the US - including Oklahoma.
OKLAHOMA -

A big international bust could be a victory for the war on drugs in Oklahoma.

Authorities captured the most wanted drug lord in Mexico over the weekend.

The drug smuggler, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Shorty in English has known ties to every major city in the US - including Oklahoma.

It's evidenced by the many drug related crimes and violence local agents have connected to the cartel over the years.

"He led that organization by fear and terror," Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Director Darrell Weaver and his agents are familiar with Guzman's drug empire.

OBN Agents have pulled drugs and guns off the interstates as evidence Oklahoma is a crossroads for drug trafficking.

In addition to the dead bodies and severed heads found along highways in Mexico that have been connected to the cartels, and Guzman himself, local authorities believe some of that violence also bleeds into Oklahoma.

"It's terror; it's guns and violence," said Weaver. "I've often said that the cartels do not negotiate contracts over a steak dinner; they negotiate in the parking lot over an AK-47."

Investigators suspected the 2011 dismemberment of 19-year-old Carina Saunders in Bethany may be tied to Mexican cartels.

More recently, federal agents busted the cartels in a human trafficking operation at a S.W. Oklahoma City apartment complex in 2013.

11/21/2013 Related Story: Mexican Drug Cartels Bringing Crime, Violence To Oklahoma Streets

Weaver doubts Guzman's arrest will stop the illegal operation, but he believes it could make a dent.

"It's not going to change things overnight, but what I hope to see and I think all of law enforcement hope to see is that there is a disruption and dismantlement of that very powerful cartel," Weaver said.

Homeland Security Investigations Agents, along with the Drug Enforcement Agency and U.S. Marshals, helped gather the intelligence that brought Guzman down.

HSI Special Agent David Marwell said his arrest should at least temporarily reduce the drug violence in Oklahoma.

"I couldn't really put a number on it but there is no doubt there are lots of victims and a number of cartel related crimes," Marwell added.

All local authorities agree, it won't be long before someone takes Guzman's place, but at least now they know that person could be taken down too.

"If guzman can be captured, then anyone can be," Weaver proclaimed.

Guzman has been charged with violating Mexico's drug-trafficking laws. Those charges could delay his extradition to the U.S. where he faces charges in at least seven districts.

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