A leading member of drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s notorious cartel has reportedly escaped from prison along with two other inmates.
Cartel accountant Victor Manuel Felix Beltran, alias ‘El Vic’, 32, reportedly broke out of the South Prison in the central Mexican capital Mexico City in the early hours of 29th January.
The two inmates who allegedly escaped with him have been identified as Luis Meza and Yael Osuna.
The three convicts were not available for roll call in the morning and the alert was raised after checking their empty cells, according to local media.
The authorities said the prisoners were in Area 1 of the medium-security prison at the time of the reported jailbreak.
Suspect Victor Manuel Felix Beltran The suspect Yael Osuna Navarro
According to reports, five security doors had been unlocked for the men to escape, prompting an internal investigation.
Despite being considered dangerous criminals, the men were serving their time in a medium-security facility after an unnamed judge refused requests to transfer them to more secure prisons, according to Hazael Ruiz, sub-secretary of Mexico City’s prison system.
Beltran and Meza, from Sinaloa State in western Mexico, were charged with crimes against health while Navarro, who is from the state of Nayarit, was charged with criminal association, according to local media.
The authorities are reportedly searching the prison’s CCTV footage while a manhunt for the fugitives is also underway in the area.
According to local media, Beltran has been considered one of the leading members of the Sinaloa Cartel, formerly led by notorious drug lord ‘El Chapo’, since 2012.
He is the son of Victor Manuel Felix Felix, alias ‘El Senor’, who was arrested in 2011 before being extradited to California in the US where he was sentenced to 14 years in jail, according to reports.
Beltran was arrested in Mexico City on 26th October 2017 after being identified as the cartel’s accountant responsible for money laundering activities, according to local media.
He also reportedly liaised with other criminal organisations over the trafficking of narcotics between the states of Guerrero and Jalisco.
Beltran also has ties with El Chapo’s son and he reportedly witnessed the kidnapping of the drug lord’s children in May 2016.
In 2015, he was considered by the US government as one of the most important members of the Sinaloa cartel.
The manhunt continues.
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