Humberto Beltrán Cuen, AKA ‘Don Chino’ of Sinaloa Cartel captured in Guatemala with automatic rifles and explosives

Mexican drug trafficker "Don Chino" and two others were captured in Guatemala and face extradition to the US for drug trafficking and money laundering offenses, including possession of weapons and fentanyl distribution.

Guatemalan National Police agents captured 70-year-old Mexican drug trafficker from the Sinaloa Cartel, Humberto Beltrán Cuen, alias “Don Chino,” who has an arrest warrant for extradition to the United States, where he is accused of conspiracy to traffic and distribute cocaine and fentanyl, on Saturday, March 18, in the Guatemalan capital.

The arrest of the drug trafficker occurred on 19 Avenida de la Zona 10, in Guatemala City’s capital, authorities reported.

In addition to “Don Chino,” Guatemalan forces captured Sergio Antonio Duarte Frías, originally from Culiacán, Sinaloa, and Guatemalan Ana Gabriela Rubio Zea, who are also wanted by the US justice system for drug trafficking-related crimes.

According to reports, the 70-year-old drug lord was also preparing to send approximately 500 automatic rifles, 500 pistols, and 20 rocket-propelled grenades to Mexico.

According to the arrest warrant, “Don Chino” must appear in the Southern District Court of New York, in the United States, for drug trafficking and firearms-related offenses.


The Guatemalan Public Prosecutor’s Office indicated that the three detainees, with extraditable status, are also charged with possessing, using, and transferring high-powered weapons, such as machine guns and explosives.

US intelligence work has identified that “Don Chino” belongs to the international drug trafficking organization based in Sinaloa, responsible for trafficking large quantities of fentanyl into the United States.

Since August 2022, Humberto Beltran Cuen and his accomplices have negotiated with other traffickers to supply multiple kilograms of fentanyl.


The other two detainees laundered money for the Sinaloa Cartel.

Sergio Antonio Duarte Frias, 27, and Ana Gabriela Rubio Zea, 33, were arrested a day earlier in the same city. Both are accused of laundering money from the profits of the Sinaloa Cartel through cryptocurrencies.

“The Public Prosecutor’s Office coordinated with the National Civil Police, in zone 10 of Guatemala City, the apprehension for extradition purposes of Sergio Antonio Duarte Frías, who is required to appear for trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, for drug trafficking and crimes related to firearms and money laundering,” local authorities said in a statement.

Regarding the Guatemalan citizen, Ana Gabriela Rubio Zea, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, informed that her arrest in zone 15 of the capital resulted from “an investigation related to international drug trafficking, possession of firearms and money laundering.


The Public Ministry detailed that in September 2021, Mexican authorities seized approximately 25 kilograms of Fentanyl precursor chemicals that “Gaby” purchased from a distributor in China, intending to send this material to Mexico to manufacture fentanyl in clandestine laboratories of the Sinaloa Cartel.

The investigation revealed that “Gaby” controls an import-export company he uses to purchase fentanyl precursor chemicals.

Mexico acknowledges fentanyl production

In response to a request for information in February, Mexico’s National Defense Secretariat claimed it seized 635 synthetic drug labs in 2019, 2020, and 2021, contrasting with 104 in a previous report.

The Army also said it confiscated close to 500 labs in 2022 amid accusations among US Republican congressmen against the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who they say has a lax policy on organized crime.