Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno, a powerful capo from the Sinaloa cartel who was on the FBI's most wanted list with a $5 million bounty on his head, has died at 65 from a heart attack as reported by the Los Angeles Times:
Michael S. Vigil, a former top Drug Enforcement Administration official whose book Deal documents his time fighting the cartels, said Esparragoza used to be called "the Diplomat." "He was used a lot by the Sinaloa cartel to negotiate the feuds, conflicts with other cartels in Mexico," Vigil said. "He is one of Mexico’s drug trafficking pioneers. He kept a very low profile even though he could have run his own cartel. But he didn't want to be a lightning rod. He killed a lot of people but did it surgically. It wasn't wholesale violence like ‘Chapo’ Guzman or the Zetas." Vigil said Esparragoza was "relied upon by the Sinaloa cartel to handle a lot of things." He knew better than most the Colombian sources and supply lines and established drug routes, both through Mexico and the U.S., Vigil added.
No word on whether Esparragoza's heart attack was induced by snorting too much of his own product.
Earlier this year Mexican marines and the U.S. DEA in a joint operation captured Sinaloa boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, and the cartel's current leader is Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada as reported by Richard Fausset and Richard A. Serrano for The Los Angeles Times.