MEXICO CITY – Drug lord Carlos Beltran Leyva, whose brother was killed in a shootout with marines last month, has been captured by Mexican federal police, the Public Safety Secretariat said.
Beltran Leyva was arrested last Wednesday in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, where he was going by the alias of Carlos Gamez, the secretariat said.
The drug lord was carrying a pistol, rifle, ammunition and several cell phones at the time of his arrest on Dec. 30.
The 40-year-old Beltran Leyva, who had been the subject of an arrest warrant since 2008, was also carrying several packages that contained a powder that appeared to be cocaine, the secretariat said.
A judge on Sunday ordered Beltran Leyva held in preventive detention for 40 days, giving prosecutors time to expand their investigation of him on drug trafficking, criminal conspiracy, money laundering and firearms charges, judicial officials said.
Carlos’s brother, Arturo, was killed in a shootout Dec. 16 with marines in Cuernavaca, the capital of Morelos state.
Authorities in the southern state of Chiapas have arrested Gudiel Ivan Sanchez, a suspected gunman who allegedly participated in the killing of several relatives of a marine who died in the shootout with Arturo Beltran Leyva.
Sanchez confessed that he participated in the killings of four relatives of navy 3rd Petty Officer Melquisedet Angulo Cordova, the Chiapas state Attorney General’s Office said.
The mother, two siblings and an aunt of Angulo Cordova were murdered Dec. 21 at the family’s home in Paraiso, Tabasco, just hours after their loved one was laid to rest with full military honors.
The organization created by the five Beltran Leyva brothers – Marcos Arturo, Mario Alberto, Carlos, Alfredo and Hector – smuggles cocaine, marijuana and heroin.
The criminal organization is also involved in people trafficking, money laundering, extortion, kidnapping, contract hits and arms trafficking.
Arturo Beltran Leyva and another brother, Mario Alberto, shared the leadership of the Beltran Leyva cartel, which arose as a splinter group of the powerful Sinaloa cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman.
The Beltran Leyva brothers reportedly broke with the Sinaloa cartel boss after the January 2008 arrest of Alfredo Beltran Leyva.
The brothers blamed Alfredo’s arrest on Guzman and killed one of the Sinaloa cartel chief’s sons in a grenade attack on a Culiacan shopping center.
The betrayals and killings sparked a war between Guzman and the Beltran Leyvas, who allied themselves with the Gulf cartel, a bitter enemy of the Sinaloa cartel boss.
The Beltran Leyva cartel managed to infiltrate the security forces and put Noe Ramirez Mandujano, who served as Mexico’s drug czar, on their payroll.
Ramirez Mandujano was arrested in November 2008 during “Operation Clean-Up,” an initiative to root out corruption in the upper reaches of the Federal Police and Attorney General’s Office.
The former drug czar had been taking $450,000 monthly from drug traffickers, officials said.