Spain: Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel members arrested in Madrid

This July 10, 1993 file photo shows Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera at La Palma prison in Almoloya of Juarez, Mexico.

Spanish police arrested four alleged members of Mexico’s feared Sinaloa drug cartel in Madrid, where they were attempting to establish a foothold in the European narcotics market, Spanish news agency EFE reported today.

One of the men, Jesus Gutierrez Guzman, is the cousin of Sinaloa’s leader Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, who has been on the run from police since escaping a maximum-security prison in a laundry basket in 2001.

The men were arrested near hotels in the center of the Spanish capital following a joint investigation between local police and the FBI, the Associated Press reported.

The other men were named as Rafael Humberto Celaya Valenzuela, Samuel Zazueta Valenzuela and Jesus Gonzalo Palazuelos Soto, Milenio reported.

They are wanted in the United States on suspicion of drug trafficking and money laundering.

"Our country was going to be used as a point of entry for large shipments of narcotics," the Spanish interior ministry said.

At the end of July, investigators had intercepted a container carrying 373 kilograms of cocaine in the southern Spanish port of Algeciras.

The Sinaloa drug cartel is based in the northern Mexican state of the same name. It is considered to be one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in the world.

Its leader, Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, is one of the richest men in the world, according to Forbes.

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