Police arrested a major drug-trafficking suspect who was trying the rebuild the criminal mob of jailed kingpin Edgar Valdez Villarreal, Mexican authorities said Friday.
Miguel Angel Cedillo Gonzalez, "El Pica", was arrested Wednesday in Mexico City thanks to “investigative and intelligence work carried out by the Federal Police,” the federal Public Safety Secretariat said in a statement.
At the time of his arrest along with two other suspects, Cedillo was seeking the assistance of other drug cartels to reassemble Valdez Villarreal’s organization and wage a battle for control of the drug trade in the states of Guerrero and Morelos, the secretariat said.
The Federal Police officers seized an SUV, two 9 mm pistols, a grenade, five cellphones and a laptop computer from the three suspects.
Following the death of kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva during a December 2009 shootout with marines at an exclusive condo in the central city of Cuernavaca, the cartel he had led split into two rival bands, one headed by his brother and second-in-command, Hector, and the other by Valdez Villarreal.
Hector Beltran Leyva’s faction is known as the Pacifico Sur cartel, while Valdez Villarreal – who was suspected by his rivals of betraying his boss to the authorities – founded his own gang.
The August 2010 capture of Valdez Villarreal, known as “La Barbie,” was the fruit of more than a year’s worth of investigations across five of Mexico’s 31 states.
Authorities say Cedillo was the leader of Valdez Villarreal’s organization in Morelos and that he was reaching out to other cartels for support against a splinter faction operating in the Pacific coast resort of Acapulco, Guerrero state.
According to police, Cedillo sought help from drug trafficker Servando Gomez, one of the top leaders of the criminal gang originally known as La Familia Michoacana, which now calls itself Los Caballeros Templarios (The Knights Templar).
Cedillo was arrested on Sept. 9, 2003, for ties to organized crime and served a four-year prison sentence, but he resumed his criminal activities following his release.