Days after gun-wielding cartel goons turned a Mexican city into a war zone in order to get El Chapo’s son Ovidio Guzman Lopez freed from custody, scammers are trying to capitalize on the incident — by bombarding area residents with threatening emails demanding cash to stave off more violence, officials said Sunday.
“These messages contain threats against those who receive them, demanding money be deposited into an account,” Mexican authorities told Rio Doce newspaper on Sunday of the emails. “However, this is an attempt to extort people or groups to take advantage of events in the city of Culiacan. Residents are asked to ignore these emails.”
The messages reportedly seek payment in bitcoin and are being sent to residents in the state of Sinaloa, where pint-sized ex-kingpin El Chapo once ran his lucrative narcotics empire. He was sentenced to life in prison by a Brooklyn federal judge in July.
Guzman Lopez made headlines Thursday when Mexican agents arrested him in Culiacan — only release him a short time later when heavily armed cartel gunmen wreaked havoc on city streets.
Eight people were killed in the botched raid, turning it into a show of power for the Sinaloa cartel once presided over by El Chapo.
US federal officials charged his sons, Ovidio and Joaquin Guzman Lopez, with drug trafficking in 2017, according to an indictment unsealed in February.
Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday defended Guzman Lopez’s release, saying the decision to let him go “was made to protect the citizens.”
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