Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Key Sinaloa cartel operator in Northern Sonora captured

Friday, February 18, 2011 |

Cesar Villagrán Salazar, "El Placas",

In a statement issued Tuesday, the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) announced that Cesar Villagrán Salazar, "El Placas", was arrested by army troops on the 12th of this month in the town of Magdalena de Kino, Sonora.

According to a warrant issued by the federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) Villagrán Salazar was wanted on charges of organized crime and possession of firearms limited for the exclusive use of the military. The suspect has been arraigned and will be held for 40 days while an investigation gathers evidence for use by prosecutors.

El Placas is alleged to be a key operator for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in northern Sonora, bordering the state of Arizona.

He is reported to command the plazas of Magdalena del Kino and Santa Ana where he coordinated the shipment of drugs by air from Sinaloa and their distribution from northern Sonora across the border into Arizona.

Villagrán Salazar acquired control of the Magdalena de Kino operation after the arrest of his cousin Jose Vazquez Villagrán, “El Jabali”, in February 2010.

Mexican authorities have reported a resurgence in the use of aircraft by drug cartels for the transshipment of drugs within Mexico and through Central and South America due to the increasing difficulty of ground smuggling operations.



In another blow to Sinaloa cartel operations in northern Sonora, a Mexican Army operation at San Luis Rio Colorado resulted in the seizure of 12 tons of marijuana this past Wednesday, February 16.

During the raid the soldiers also detained 3 alleged members of a criminal cell under the command of Alejandro Inzunza, “El Machoprieto”, an important operator for Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. Three vehicles and three assault rifles were also seized.

El Machoprieto reportedly controls the plazas of Mexicali in Baja California Norte and San Luis Rio Coronado in Sonora for the Sinaloa cartel.

According to media reports the three detainees who were safeguarding the 12 ton shipment stated that El Machoprieto’s operations in Mexicali, where drugs are warehoused before moving into the U.S., are protected by officers belonging to the Federal Investigative Police (AFI).




In a Sedena press release dated 2/16/2011 the Mexican Army announced the seizure in the San Luis Rio Coronado area on Monday February 14, of 282.8 kilos of cocaine, 147.3 kilos of crystal methamphetamine, and 21.5 kilos of heroin.

The drugs were found hidden in a tractor-trailer carrying a shipment of food products during a routine inspection at a permanent checkpoint on federal highway #2. The rig had been loaded in Culician Sinaloa and was headed to Mexicali, Baja California.

The driver of the rig and a companion were both taken into custody.

According to Sedena’s calculations the drugs had a total street value of $825,750,426 pesos or $68.7 million dollars.

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19 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

All of you criminals look tough and hold your weapons or we will beat you again.....what happened to handcuffs and digs chewing on your legs? This is the answer to them (Mexicos' government) establishing an answer to a potential G-8 directive? You are about to lose your country.

Anonymous said...

WTF? el placas is the lead story then followed by three chumps holding assault rifles the wrong way and mean mugging? The rifles look mighty clean to me.....almost like dust hasn't hit them. I doubt these guys could break them down, much less clean them.

Anonymous said...

I love it. right as this seizure was taking place. the real one crept by. take those pictures. minus the fall guys. keep the ones in camo, multiply the total lbs times 36 and you got what they didnt get.


dbgh..

Anonymous said...

i dont mean i love it i mean . . . i like how they try to play it off. i bet if you opened those packas theyd be fake.


same guy

J said...

That forty day waiting period seems so nonsensical and counter productive.

Anonymous said...

Is the one on left ready to take the middle one out and why are they posing with those guns in the first place?

Anonymous said...

fuckin government is fuckin up!!!first paredes then salazar and now el placas are you fuckin serious now whos supposed to take care of santa ana and magdalena? this guy protected that region and he is one of the reasons sonora was not like tamaulipas or chihuahua...he controlled the route of saric all the way to the U.S border...now expect nogales to heat up and also expect more violent encounters with U.S border patrol

Anonymous said...

the name is cesar villagrana not villagran

Comandante Exocet said...

These three morons look like they haven't slept in a year. I wish they had offered a little more resistance so as to avoid the costs of prosecution with a round to the forehead!

Anonymous said...

68.7 Million Benjamins worth of Pharmaceuticals confiscated,
someone is gonna be pissed!

Anonymous said...

Did those 3 guys do the bust,is get arrested? Wtf r they trying to be don Johnson and tubbs

Anonymous said...

That picture tells a lot more than the Mex gov't wants I'm guessing. Looks like some fall guys picked out of the villages randomly. I wonder if they voluntarily did it in exchange for family protection or if they were picked up forcefully. Not like the Federales don't have a history of planting guns on people after they kill them, this would be nothing. What dumbass thought it was a good idea to show them holding guns? That's some weirdness coming from supposed pros.

Anonymous said...

Why is it common to have them posing with guns after they're caught? I see it all the time and was wondering the reasoning behind that.

Anonymous said...

its not alejandro inzunza its gonzalo inzunza alias el macho prieto

Gerardo said...

"its not alejandro inzunza its gonzalo inzunza alias el macho prieto"

I saw that in a few Spanish language forums and you're probably right but all the Mexican media stories carried the name Alejandro so I had to go with that.

"the name is cesar villagrana not villagran"
Media sources had both spellings so I went with el Jabali's apellido since they are cousins.

Anonymous said...

well man jabali's apellido is also villagrana whatever source you used they are wrong i know because i am from santa ana sonora the town they are from...i mean it in the nicest way am not trying to be a dick

Anonymous said...

His right it is Gonzalo Inzunza and Cesar Villagrana I know too because I'm from there too.

Anonymous said...

Mexico needs to stop seizing drugs a their border with the U.S. After all, it is NOT illegal in mexico to traffic drugs into the U.S.

Anonymous said...

Jajajaja estos changos con sus bananas YES IS GONZALO INZUNZA AND THE OTHER GUY HIS NAME IS JULIO CESAR VILLAGRANA FUE SARGENTO DE ARTILLERIA EN EL EJEMEX THAT MAFKR IS A COOL GUY ELLOS NO EXTORCIONAN NO SECUESTRAN NI ROBAN AL CONTRARIO COMPONEN CARRETERAS Y HOSPITALES SU NEGOSIO ES EL TRAERLES SU PAN DE CADA DIA A TODOS LOS IMBECILES DROGADICTOS DE USA. MEXICO IS GOIN TO GET BETTER CUANDO DEJEN DE COMPRAR DROGA AQUI BY THE WAY HE WAS MY INSTRUCTOR EN EL GAFE

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