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Soccer Loving Drug Lord Arrested

Man in handcuffs
John Moore/Getty Images

A love of soccer can apparently get you in a lot of trouble. Or at least it did for one suspected Mexican drug trafficker. 

Now I’m not a drug lord, but I imagine if I was I’d have some sort of cool secret identity. I mean if watching TV cop shows has taught me anything, it’s that using your own name when committing a crime is just plain dumb. But apparently one Mexican drug lord doesn’t watch as much TV as I do.

Yesterday Bloomberg News reported that suspected Mexican drug trafficker Jose Diaz-Barajas, 49, was arrested for trying to see his national soccer team play in the World Cup. Cause like a genius, the guy booked his plane ticket under his real name!

Clearly not thinking this thing through, Diaz-Barajas purchased tickets to today’s game of Mexico versus Brazil for himself, his wife and his two kids. FIFA immediately contacted the authorities about this purchase and they were there to greet the wanted man at Rio de Janeiro’s Tom Jobim airport last night as he boarded a plane to Fortaleza, where Mexico was playing today.

FIFA’s spokesperson declined to comment on their role in the arrest, but Luiz Cravo Dorea, head of international cooperation at the Federal Police, told reporters in Brazil that

“Barajas was one of the most sought traffickers in the United States. He will remain imprisoned in Rio until his extradition to the U.S. is determined.”

US and international security agencies have actually increased their presence in several citiies hosting World Cup games in the hopes that something like this would happen. So considering they say most criminals are not that smart, there’s a good chance more big drug busts could happen before the games are over.

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