The Beltran Leyva drug cartel’s top boss in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero was captured by federal security forces, National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said.
Leonor Nava Romero was wanted on murder, kidnapping and extortion charges, Rubido said.
Nava, who also went by the aliases Salomon Sanchez and Joaquin Vazquez, was the leader of the Los Rojos faction of the cartel, media reports said.
The suspect’s gang has been weakened and largely dismantled due to the arrests of many of its members, media reports said.
Nava was arrested in Tecpan de Galena, a city in Guerrero, thanks to an extensive investigation and intelligence work aimed at serving a warrant issued by a state judge, Rubido said.
The suspect is considered a close associate of Hector Beltran Leyva, the cartel’s top boss.
“He has also been identified as being the one likely behind the murders of eight National Defense Scretariat troops in December 2008 in Chilpancingo,” the capital of Guerrero, Rubido said.
Nava was in charge of smuggling drugs from Guerrero into the United States, the national security commissioner said.
He was arrested last September, but a judge in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas granted him bail, Rubido said.
Nava is a suspect in the attempted murder of a businessman in January, Rubido said.
Five other members of Nava’s gang have been arrested since February, Rubido said.
Nava was handed over to the Siedo organized crime unit of the federal Attorney General’s Office.
The Los Rojos organization is considered one of the most dangerous gangs operating in Guerrero, where it runs extortion rackets and kidnaps business owners.