RIO DE JANEIRO Ė Police launched an operation Wednesday targeting the drug gang run from prison by Luiz Fernando da Costa, considered one of the most powerful drug lords in Brazil, officials said.
Da Costa, better known as Fernandinho Beira-Mar, is serving prison sentences totaling nearly 320 years.
One of the drug lordís sons was arrested in the northeastern state of Paraiba, police said.
Beira-Mar, who had ties to drug traffickers in Colombia and Paraguay, was considered Brazilís most powerful drug lord in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The drug lord was captured in 2001 in the Colombian jungle where, according to Brazilian officials, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas were protecting him.
Police arrested a close associate of Beira-Mar in Ceara state, located near Paraiba, and conducted searches in Duque de Caxias, a Rio de Janeiro suburb.
Officers searched a luxury apartment in Duque de Caxias owned by Beira-Marís sister, who is the subject of an arrest warrant on drug charges.
Beira-Mar, who has been at the federal prison in Porto Velho since 2006, has used cell phones and written messages to run his criminal organization.
Police served 35 arrest warrants and 86 search warrants in five states across Brazil.