An 83-Year-Old Chicago Cop Takes on El Chapo Guzman

Sanho Tree, the director of the Drug Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, a D.C. think tank, said the idea was "bloody-minded" and "ignorant."

"The problem with Al Capone was not so much Capone himself, it's the fact that alcohol prohibition gave these criminals the perfect opportunity to make a lot of money," he said. "As soon as you legalized alcohol again, the massacres stopped."

Daniel Robelo, a research coordinator at the Drug Policy Alliance, echoed that sentiment.

"Even if El Chapo was to be taken out tomorrow, there would only be a momentary disruption of the drug trade, if any at all," Robelo said. Capturing El Chapo could splinter the Sinaloa cartel and lead to violent competition for its drug trafficking routes, he added.

Bilek doesn't think those comments are completely off. He agrees that ending alcohol prohibition ultimately had a bigger effect on crime reduction in Chicago than the arrest of Al Capone. He also said that the legalization of certain drugs could do more to undercut gang violence in the Chicago area than arresting El Chapo Guzmán.

But he also argues that for the moment, the best thing that his organization can do is to seek tougher action against El Chapo and other top criminals.

"I don't have the kind of lobbying power [to change drug laws] and I don't know if it's ever going to happen in America, because America is very conservative," Bilek said. "The only shot I've got is to get the gang that's the most dangerous right now," he said. "And I believe that's the Guzman gang."

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