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Drug Queen Captured by Mexican Police
Mexico has captured Sandra Avila, known as the "Queen of the Pacific," one of Mexico's highest profile drug smugglers.
Avila, 45, helped start the Sinaloa cartel on Mexico's Pacific Coast in the 1990s.
Police captured her while driving a BMW sport utility vehicle near her house in the Mexican capital.
Avila's boyfriend Colombian trafficker Juan Diego "The Tiger" Espinosa was also captured.
Diego is considered to be a key link between Colombian and Mexican smugglers and is wanted in the United States.
"Federal police identified a house in the south of the city ... that was the Queen of the Pacific's home under the name Daniela Garcia Chavez," said Patricio Patino, deputy intelligence chief at the public security ministry.
Avila faces charges of organized crime and money laundering in both Mexico and the United States.
She received her nickname for helping to create smuggling routes from Mexico's Pacific Coast into California.
She was thought to run her operations out of Mexico's central city of Guadalajara, coordinating shipments of Colombian cocaine north into Mexico and the United States.
Authorities said the investigation that led them to Beltran started five years ago after the seizure of nine tons of Colombian cocaine off the Pacific port and resort of Manzanillo.
“This woman has been transporting Colombian cocaine into Mexico since the Nineties. She is part of a family that has been dedicated to drug trafficking for three generations,” said Patricio Patiño, public safety under-secretary.