Sinaloa’s Attorney General announced the arrest Sunday of a top leader of “Los Mazatlecos”, the faction of the Beltran Leyva cartel operating in northern Sinaloa, in the port city of Mazatlan in southern Sinaloa and in Tepic, the state capitol of Nayarit.
Geovany Lizárraga Ontiveros, “el Desaparecido”, was detained in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, in an operation headed by the recently deployed elite rapid reaction squad of the state ministerial police. The suspect offered no resistance during his arrest.
Lizárraga Ontiveros, is alledged to be the leader of the Los Mochis cell of los Mazatlecos, whose stronghold is in the Los Mochis-Guasave area of northern Sinaloa, and is a top lieutenant of Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, “el Chapo Isidro”, identified as the head of the Mazatlecos.
Los Mazatlecos are bitter rivals of the Sinaloa cartel and are rumored to be allies of Los Zetas.
Geovany Lizárraga was traveling alone in an armored pick-up at the the time of his arrest. After his arrest the suspect was immediately transported to the headquarters of the Mexican Army’s 89 Infantry Battalion in Los Mochis.
According to police reports the convoy transporting the suspect came under fire from gunmen in at least one pickup on federal highway 15 in a rescue attempt that was repulsed by state police and military reinforcements on the way to the military facility.
Three civilians were caught in the crossfire on the highway and injured. Two of the wounded travelers, Antonio and Jorge Pérez Orizaba, were identified as U.S. citizens returning from a visit to see family in Michoacan. Two ministerial police officers in the convoy were injured by shrapnel and are reported in stable condition.
Monday morning Geovany Lizárraga was transferred by air to the state capital of Culiacan where he was made available to investigators from Siedo, the Federal Attorney General's organized crime division.
The Sinaloa Attorney General, Marco Antonio Higuera Gomez, described Lizárraga as the principal distributor of narcotics for the domestic retail drug market within Sinaloa.
Lizárraga is also under investigation for the murder of numerous police officials in northern Sinaloa. This area has been the target of recent operations that have resulted in the arrests of retail drug dealers and halcones, or lookouts, working for Los Mazatlecos.
The operation by the state ministerial police, known as “Limpia Mazatleca”, has resulted in at least 70 arrests and has led to charges by members of the Beltran Leyva group that certain members and commanders of the elite rapid reaction squad are linked to the Gente Nueva arm of the Sinaloa Cartel and work to eliminate rivals of el Chapo Guzman. Mario Lopez Valdez, Governor of Sinaloa, has denied the charges and characterizes them as an attempt to discredit the squad.
Last week an attack against the elite squad of ministerial police in Los Mochis resulted in the death of one official and the wounding of two others. After the attacks banners were hung in Culiacan and Los Mochis that read:
“Mr Governor be informed that these people who call themselves elite group are genta nueva under the orders of CHAPO GUZMAN and are commanded by Hector Ochoa Polanco and directed by Jesus Carrasco Leyva alias tango or el flaco Sajalopulo these are the ones who are robbing and beating innocent people. "
Monday morning the state Attorny General’s office also released the images of other Los Mazatlecos cell leaders that Lizárraga reportedly identified during his initial interrogation in the Army headquarters.
Los Mazatlecos is a group of drug traffickers and criminals loyal to Alfredo Beltran Leyva, “el Mochomo”, whose arrest in January 2008 led to the Beltran Leyva organization breaking away from the Sinaloa cartel.
El Mochomo is the brother of the late Arturo Beltran Leyva and Hector Beltran Leyva who formed the cartel del Pacifico Sur.
Detienen a Geovany Lizárraga Ontiveros
ponen a disposicion de la Siedo a Geovany Lizárraga
PGJE: Geovany Lizárraga el mayor distribuidor de estupefacientes