From the archives:
Always protected by gunmen and police in his stronghold state of Tamaulipas, Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, known as Tony Tormenta, is now one of the most wanted drug lords by the Drug Enforcement Administration in the United States, where he is considered one of the most dangerous criminals, along with other drug lords as Heriberto Lazcano and Eduardo Costilla. In Mexico, the PGR, the Army and Navy are moving ever closer right behind him, and even came close to capturing him in mid-September, but someone aided him in his ultimate escape.
He is so powerful and bloodthirsty like his brother the former Gulf cartel leader Osiel. He has the luxury of engaging in shootings and killings in and out of the state of Tamaulipas without being stopped by the authorities. This is Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, who is known as Tony Tormenta by his close circle of collaborators.
He is often seen in public places like Reynosa, Ciudad Victoria, Matamoros and other cities in Tamaulipas surrounded by state and municipal police officers, whose commanders remain loyal to his criminal organization, one of the oldest in the country that was formed 50 years ago.
After the capture of Osiel on March 14, 2003, Ezekiel went adrift but despite that, he continued to operate while being sheltered by uniform officers and gunmen who remain in the Gulf cartel, at least until Eduardo Costilla, El Coss, who managed to reach all the to the top of the organization.
Today, along with El Coss, who started as a ministerial police in Matamoros and Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, El Lazca, leader of the armed group Los Zetas, Ezequiel is part of a trio that according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) constitutes "a threat to national security" of the United States.
According to official documents Ezequiel is involved in trafficking marijuana, cocaine and synthetic drugs to the US and is described as a drug kingpin who is "dangerous and bloody." In 2009 the DEA put a price on his head by offering a reward of 5 million dollars to anyone who could provide information leading to his arrest.
In Mexico the PGR included him in their list of the most wanted criminals. The Mexican agency also compares as him as important as El Coss, El Lazca and other Gulf cartel kingpins like Gregorio Sauceda Gamboa, Don Goyo, and has offered a reward of 30 million pesos for the captured of each dead or alive.
DEA agents that have followed his steps since a decade ago say that Ezekiel is hiding in Tamaulipas, where he is protected by police officers and old alliances of the cartel. It is also believed by the DEA that politicians probably protect him as a favor to his brother Osiel who was extradited to the US and is currently serving a prison sentence.