El Blog del NarcoExclusive HS News Contributor
Blog del Narco: Top Operator of El Chapo Arrested in Chihuahua
Photo: Fernando Areliano arrested
An associate of Sinaloa drug cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman was arrested by the Chihuahua state police in Ciudad Juarez, a border city in northern Mexico, prosecutors told Efe.
Fernando Arellano Romero was captured on Monday night and without any shots being fired, a Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office spokesman said.
Daniel Franco Lopez, another suspected drug trafficker, was arrested along with Arellano Romero in Ciudad Juarez, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.
The two suspects were handed over to federal prosecutors, who will investigate their links to organized crime groups, the AG’s office spokesman said.
Arellano Romero is wanted by U.S. authorities for crimes committed in Horizon City, Texas, Mexican media reported.
The federal Public Safety Secretariat said Monday that 424 “suspected criminals who belonged to the command structures of different criminal organizations” were arrested in the nearly 18 months that the Federal Police was in charge of law enforcement in Ciudad Juarez.
From April 5, 2010, to September 2011, the Federal Police arrested 335 Juarez drug cartel members and 89 Sinaloa cartel members in the border city, the secretariat said.
The Federal Police relieved the army of security and law enforcement duties in Ciudad Juarez, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.
The Juarez cartel has been battling the Sinaloa cartel for control of smuggling routes from Ciudad Juarez into the United States.
The La Linea and Los Aztecas gangs, two of the most active criminal organizations in the border city, are on the payroll of the Juarez cartel.
The Sinaloa cartel, Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficking organization, employs members of the Gente Nueva, Artistas Asesinos and Los Mexicles gangs as enforcers in Ciudad Juarez.
The Sinaloa organization, sometimes referred to by officials as the Pacific cartel, is the oldest drug cartel in Mexico and has an extensive drug distribution network in the United States.
Chapo Guzman, who was arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and pulled off a Hollywood-style jailbreak when he escaped from the Puente Grande maximum-security prison in the western state of Jalisco on Jan. 19, 2001, is considered the most powerful drug trafficker in the world.
Chapo Guzman tops the list of Mexico’s 37 most-wanted criminals and is on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people.
Read more in Spanish at Blog del Narco