MEXICO CITY – A man suspected of running the Gulf drug cartel’s operations in Ciudad Aleman, a city in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, was arrested by the Federal Police along with six accomplices, the Mexican Public Safety Secretariat said.
Abiel Gonzalez Briones, who was arrested last weekend, was in charge of the cartel’s financial and drug trafficking operations in Ciudad Aleman, the secretariat said.
Gonzalez Briones also recruited new members for the cartel, the secretariat said.
The 28-year-old Gonzalez Briones was arrested last Saturday in Camargo, another city in Tamaulipas, after a Federal Police helicopter spotted a group of armed men who were fleeing from the aircraft.
The Federal Police launched an operation and captured Gonzalez Briones and the six other men near the El Azucar dam, the secretariat said.
One of the other suspects, identified as Jorge Bryan Aguilar Hinojosa, 27, was allegedly the “chief of killers and coordinator of drug transfers to the United States,” the secretariat said.
The other suspects, who range in age from 22 to 40, are charged with “providing information to the criminal organization about the movements of the authorities,” committing the murders of several members of rival gangs and dealing drugs in the cities of Matamoros and Camargo, the secretariat said.
Federal Police officers seized eight rifles of different calibers, two handguns, 16 ammunition clips, four grenades, ammunition, a bag of marijuana, 18 cell phones, 37 radio telephones, $60,000 in cash and documents from the suspects.
All of the suspects were turned over to the federal Attorney General’s Office.
Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations, according to experts, are the Sinaloa, Tijuana, Gulf, Juarez, Los Zetas and Beltran Leyva cartels.
The Gulf cartel was founded by Juan Nepomuceno Guerra in the 1970s and later led by Juan Garcia Abrego, who was arrested in 1996 and extradited to the United States.
Osiel Cardenas Guillen later became the Gulf cartel’s undisputed boss.
Cardenas was arrested in 2003, but he continued running the Gulf cartel, one of the most violent and powerful criminal organizations in Mexico, until his extradition to the United States four years later.
The Gulf cartel has been waging a war in northeastern Mexico against Los Zetas, a band of Mexican special forces deserters turned hired guns.
After several years as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories. EFE