MEXICO CITY – The notorious head of security for the wing of the Mexican drug cartel that’s one of the main exporters of fentanyl has been arrested, according to a statement from President Joe Biden. Néstor Isidro Pérez Salas, better known as “El Nini,” is accused of being one of the leaders and commanders of the “Ninis,” a particularly violent group of security personnel for the Chapitos. The Chapitos are “El Chapo’s” sons, who are also charged with smuggling fentanyl into the United States. One of the sons, Ovidio Guzmán López, has also been arrested and faces a litany of charges related to drug trafficking and money laundering.
Perez Salas has been one of Mexico’s and the United States’ most wanted criminals for nearly three years.
“We allege that he and his security forces murdered, tortured, and kidnapped rivals, witnesses, and others who opposed the Chapitos,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “We are now seeking El Nini’s swift extradition from Mexico to face justice here in the United States.”
The U.S. Department of State has been offering a reward of up to $3 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Nestor Isidro Perez Salas. U.S. courts have indicted him on a variety of charges, including cocaine and methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy, possession of machine guns and witness retaliation.
Perez Salas’ capture comes less than a week after President Biden met with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
“Nothing is beyond our reach when Mexico and the United States stand together,” Biden said in a statement. “These arrests are testament to the commitment between the United States and Mexico to secure our communities against violence, counter the cartels, and end the scourge of illicit fentanyl that is hurting so many families.”
As Emily’s Hope reported earlier this month, Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping also recently met and reached an agreement to curb the export of chemicals used to produce the powerful opioid fentanyl.