How a W. Side drug deal led feds to 'El Chapo'

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By Michael Romain


According to a Chicago Sun-Times report published Jan. 28, the arrest of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera — one of the biggest drug kingpins in modern history and one of the world's most wanted men — was sparked roughly a decade ago, when a west suburban man sold some drugs to an informant on the West Side. 

"One of the biggest drug investigations in history began in Chicago with less than two ounces of heroin," the Sun-Times reports.

"On a hot summer day in 2007, a west suburban drug dealer named Christopher Baines sold a plastic baggie containing 50 grams of the brown, powdery stuff to a government informant near Cicero and Chicago avenues on Chicago's West Side." 

Thomas Shakeshaft, the former assistant U.S. attorney who investigated Baines, described the mid-level drug-dealer to the Sun-Times.

"Chris Baines was known to DEA as a Traveling Vice Lord — not necessarily a full-on member of the gang — but he was a significant narcotics trafficker on the West Side and lived in Maywood," Shakeshaft says.

"And, like a lot of these cases, DEA got started looking at somebody that they know about. And the case agent had a cooperating source who could buy into Baines. And that's how we work these things."

Read the full Sun-Times article online at: 

 Michael Romain   

Email: Twitter: AustinWeeklyChi

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