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Blog del Narco:  Los Caballeros Templarios Drug Cartel, Ranch Raided

Blog del Narco:  Los Caballeros Templarios Drug Cartel, Ranch Raided

Photo: Los Caballeros Templarios Drug Cartel

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Army troops seized arms, drugs and cash at a ranch apparently owned by Enrique Plancarte Solis, one of the suspected leaders of the Los Caballeros Templarios drug cartel, in the western state of Michoacan, the Mexican Defense Secretariat said.

The seizure was made after a shootout with gunmen last Saturday that left a suspected criminal dead, the secretariat said.

The rest of the gunmen managed to get away from the Los Caballos ranch in Los Cuiniques, a town outside the city of Apatzingan.

The ranch “was used by organized crime for illicit purposes,” the secretariat said in a statement.

Soldiers found 15 handguns, 19 rifles, a .50-caliber Barrett rifle, more than 100 grenades, three rockets, one anti-tank rocket launcher, 339 ammunition clips for different types of weapons, more than 22,000 rounds of ammunition and five swords at the ranch.

A total of 1.1 million pesos (equivalent to about $85,000), $312,310, two vehicles, marijuana, crystal meth and cocaine were also seized in the operation.

The Caballeros Templarios cartel was founded in March 2011 by former members of the La Familia Michoacana organization and deals in both synthetic drugs and natural drugs.

The cartel has been fighting rival gangs for control of turf and smuggling routes in Guerrero and Michoacan states, both of which are located on the Pacific.

Michoacan’s forests and mountains are used by drug traffickers to grow marijuana and produce synthetic drugs.