MEXICO CITY – A man suspected of being the main drug distributor for the Los Zetas cartel in the Comarca Lagunera region of the northern state of Coahuila was arrested by the army, the Defense Secretariat said.
Francisco Javier Marquez de la Rosa was arrested Friday in the city of Torreon by army troops participating in a special operation targeting drug traffickers, the 11th Military Region command said.
The suspect was detained while soldiers were on patrol in a Torreon neighborhood.
A handgun, an ammunition clip, 421 rounds of ammunition, 6,000 doses of powder cocaine, 2,850 doses of “crack” cocaine, eight bags of marijuana and more than 400,000 pesos (about $28,000) in cash were seized from the suspect.
“Marquez de la Rosa, identified as the principal drug distributor for Los Zetas, took control of the organization after the Nov. 19 arrest of Lidia Veronica Lara Flores,” the secretariat said.
“The arrest of this member of the Los Zetas criminal organization deals a strong blow to the (cartel’s) logistics and drug distribution structure in the Comarca Lagunera,” the secretariat said.
Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent drug cartel, mainly operates in Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and San Luis Potosi states.
Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, known as “El Lazca,” deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit, becoming the armed wing of the Gulf drug cartel.
After several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.