US judge turns up heat on Mexican drug baron wanted by FBI

New York (AFP) –


A US judge authorized the seizure Thursday of five properties belonging to one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives, Mexican drug baron Rafael Caro Quintero.

New York prosecutors say the properties in Mexico were bought by Caro Quintero, the head of a faction of the notorious Sinaloa cartel, with money obtained from drug trafficking.

"The United States will seek to enforce this order through diplomatic channels," the Eastern District of New York said in a statement following Judge Eric Vitaliano's ruling.

Caro Quintero is on the list of the FBI's ten most wanted fugitives, with a $20 million bounty on his head.

The United States accuses him of ordering the kidnap, torture and murder of Drug Enforcement Agency special agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena in 1985.

Caro Quintero was arrested that year, tried in Mexico and sentenced to 40 years in prison, but in 2013, a judge released him on a legal technicality and he went into hiding.