MEXICO CITY – Police in western Mexico arrested a nephew of drug kingpin Enrique Plancarte Solis in connection with several murders, Michoacan state authorities said Monday.
Manuel Plancarte Gaspar, 34, was detained in possession of a stolen vehicle, the state public safety department said on Twitter.
His uncle is reputed to be one of the top leaders of the Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar) drug cartel, the most powerful criminal outfit in Michoacan.
Plancarte Gaspar is suspected of killing several minors to extract their vital organs for sale, the public safety department said.
Mexican authorities are offering a reward of 10 million pesos ($770,000) for information leading to the arrest of Enrique “Kike” Plancarte Solis.
Besides profiting from the trade in illegal drugs, the Templarios make money from extortion rackets that target business owners and transport companies in Michoacan.
Civilians began arming themselves last year to fight the gang, which operates across Michoacan.
Strife between the Templarios and the self-defense groups prompted the Mexican government to launch a major police and military operation in the state.