Homeland Security warns of El Chapo-related violence - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Homeland Security warns of El Chapo-related violence

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Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman (Source: Mexican Law Enforcement / Police Handout) Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman (Source: Mexican Law Enforcement / Police Handout)
PIMA COUNTY, AZ ( Tucson News Now) -

The Department of Homeland Security is advising US law enforcement to be mindful of the potential for "retaliatory actions" in the wake of the arrest of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

The advisory comes in a document obtained by KOLD and intended for law enforcement eyes only.

The document comes from Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis and is referred to as an "Intelligence Notification."

It speaks to the influence of the notorious drug lord and how the Sinaloa drug cartel is likely planning to target US law enforcement in retaliation to his arrest in Mazatlan, Mexico last week.

The memo says "any retaliatory actions" will likely occur in Mexico - not the United States.

But due to El Chapo's appeal - and what some describe as folk hero status in Mexico - US law enforcement needs to mindful of the threat.

"There's always the potential for violence to occur, so we always have to keep that in the back of our minds," said Dep. Tracy Suitt, confirming that Pima County Sheriff's Department received the notification last week.

Dealing with illegal narcotics - Suitt says it's not unlike the fallout following a big drug bust.

Violence often ensues.

And because of that, local agencies must always be prepared for the worst.

"We make sure that we pass the word around. That's why Homeland Security is sending this information to us," Suitt said. "They're not keeping secrets. They want everyone to know that there is potential for this - and us in law enforcement are going to keep our eyes open."

Homeland Security officials tell us El Chapo's Sinaloa cartel is operating as usual.

The drug lord has at least two sons who are already rising in the ranks.

One Mexican Twitter account recently posted, "This is not the end. My father has not perished. The Guzman era is just beginning."

Authorities across the United States couldn't agree more.

"He has a number two -- or he had a number two - or three or four. That system is set up and well designed," Chicago Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy said.  "When the head of a corporation leaves, the corporation continues - so I think we're going to see the same thing here."

El Chapo remains in custody in Mexico. However, there's a push to have him extradited to the United States.

He carries indictments in Illinois, New York, Texas and California.

If and when he arrives on American soil, that's when this intelligence advisory becomes a full-blown security alert.

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