Tijuana, BC - A much-sought member of a violent drug gang operating in the Tijuana region has been captured by Mexican federal police forces in Baja California Sur, U.S. officials said.
Raydel Lopez Uriarte, known as El Muletas or Crutches, was reportedly arrested Monday morning in the capital of La Paz. Raydel Lopez Uriarte was considered the leader of the criminal cell that had been previously led by "El Teo", who were engaged in a bloody dispute over turf with Francisco Sanchez Arellano (a) "El Ingeniero", the head of the Arellano Felix cartel.
Lopez’s detention, confirmed Monday by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, comes less than a month after the detention of his former associate, Teodoro Garcia Simental, or El Teo, in La Paz.
Until his capture, Garcia had headed the drug-trafficking group, which is known for targeting police officers, conducting numerous kidnappings in the area and beheading victims.
Amy Roderick, a spokeswoman for the DEA in San Diego, said Lopez had been detained alongside with Garcia’s youngest brother, Manuel Garcia Simental, known as El Chiquilin, or The Little Guy.
The operation began about 7:00 pm in a residential area of La Paz, where on January 12, during a similar operation, they also detained El Teo, who was a former operator of the Tijuana cartel, and who in 2008 teamed up with Joaquin " El Chapo "Guzman and la familia michoacana for the purpose of smuggling drugs to the U.S.
Around 7:30 pm two helicopters hovered near the community of Indeco and it there was reports of the presence of at least one hundred federal agents who raided the home located on the street 142 Thomas Zuniga, community Las Tunas in Indeco
"El Muletas" was considered one of the possible successors to Garcia Simental in the organization that has fought against the Arellano Felix drug cartel for control for trafficking rights at the border.
Lopez Uriarte was among 10 drug suspects named on a DEA poster released last year believed to be members of the new hierarchy of traffickers operating in the Baja California region.
A ballad by the group Los Tucanes tells the story of how he evaded capture by 200 agents who had surrounded a seafood restaurant.
Stay tune here for more information as the story develops.