The son of a top Sinaloa cartel leader has escaped from prison along with four other drug suspects, Mexican authorities say. The escape was identified as Juan Jose Esparragoza Monzon, the son of Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno, alias "El Azul." The father is a top leader of the Sinaloa gang along with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.
Guzman was extradited to the US earlier this year. The whereabouts of Zambada and the elder Esparragoza are unknown. The son was arrested in January and is suspected of running a drug distribution network and managing cartel finances. Cristobal Castaneda, the assistant secretary of public safety in northern Sinaloa state, said last night the inmates fled the state prison during a visiting day. Castaneda said state authorities had wanted to transfer all five to federal prisons, but that the suspects had won court injunctions against transfers. The other four escaped prisoners appeared to be Sinaloa cartel associates.