Cartel kingpin Chicago's new public enemy no 1

Authorities in Chicago are naming a drug kingpin in Mexico as the city’s Public Enemy No 1, a label first given to gangster Al Capone and one that hasn’t been used since Prohibition in the 1930s.

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is being singled out for his role as leader of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, which supplies the bulk of narcotics sold in the city, according to the Chicago Crime Commission and the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

“Not since the Chicago Crime Commission’s first Public Enemy No. 1 has any criminal deserved this title more than Joaquin Guzman,” J R Davis, president of 94-year-old Chicago Crime Commission, said in remarks prepared for an announcement on Thursday.

It was the Chicago Crime Commission that designated Capone Public Enemy No 1 in 1930. The non-government body that tracks city crime trends called other people public enemies, but Capone was the only one to ever be its No. 1 until now.
Most dangerous

Despite his nickname “El Chapo” means “shorty” in Spanish, Guzman is one of the world’s most dangerous and most wanted outlaws. He’s also one of the richest: Forbes magazine has estimated the value of his fortune at around $1 billion.

Unlike Capone, Guzman doesn’t live in Chicago. He lives in a mountain hideaway in western Mexico.

But for all the havoc he creates in the nation’s third-largest city, he ought to be treated as a local Chicago crime boss, the DEA’s top Chicago official, Jack Riley, told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

“In my opinion, Guzman is the new Al Capone of Chicago,” Riley says in remarks prepared for Thursday. Capone based his bootlegging and other criminal enterprises out of Chicago during Prohibition, when it was illegal to make or sell alcohol in the US.

He eventually went to prison for income tax evasion, but he gained the most notoriety for the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre that left seven rivals dead.

Yet Riley says Guzman is more ruthless than Capone. “If I was to put those two guys in a ring, El Chapo would eat that guy (Capone) alive,” Riley said while pointing to pictures of the men in his office.

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