He is suspected of planning a thwarted grenade attack of the night of Mexico's Bicentennial in that city. Also arrested was co-conspirator and native of El Paso, Texas; Javier Alejandro Faz Dominguez, age 24 along with three other members of the alleged cell. According to the official account, Dominguez hung himself in a cell shortly after arriving to a local jail.
El Paletas is allegedly behind the incendiary attack on the bar Castillo del Mar, in which Molotov cocktails were thrown into the establishment, killing eight employees.
The suspected reason for the attack was non-payment of protection money. The group lead by the 27 year old Figueroa specialized in kidnappings, extortion's and ran a string of drug distribution outlets. They often acted as enforces for the Zetas. One of the arrested sicarios is only 15 years old.
Carlos Barragan Figueroa introduced himself to the Zetas of the Playa del Carmen in 2007 and since 2008 has taken orders directly form Javier Corza Gutierrez, alias Comandante Suri.
His main function was to identify people with money in the area to kidnap and hold for
ransom. Figueroa was known to associate with Johnny Novelo Dehesa, proprietor of a bar called La Hueva who has been charged with trafficking drugs, money laundering child pornography and kidnapping.
El Paletas was being sought for the kidnapping of Luis Aparicio Lara, brother of another trafficker by the name of Guillermo Aparicio a.k.a. El Willy or Zeta 34. Aparicio was rescued along with two other hostages by members of the Mexican armed forces last September. Other crimes he stands accused of include:
In July of last year El Paletas abducted tax official Edwin Omar Yanez Pinzon and allegedly received half a million dollars for his release.
On May 18th a group loyal to Figueroa kidnapped Hilario Pecho Miranda, whose family paid half a million dollars. On the 23rd they abducted Jesus Martinez Viveros, a student whose family paid one million dollars.
On the 29th of May this year Figueroa abducted Lucio Kantun Lozano from the plaza of Las Americas and demanded 3.5 million dollars from the man's father for his release or he would kill him and cut his body up into pieces. They came up with the money 40 days later by selling various properties.
In November of 2009, Figueroa was accused plotting the abduction of a local politician Ruben Aguilar Gomez, who was rescued during a firefight between police officers and his assailants.