The Mexican army captured José Ángel García Trujillo, alias “El Choche“, accused of being one of the principal operators of the Gulf cartel in the state of Nuevo León, and eleven of his accomplices, military sources said.
"El Choche" was detained at a ranch in Los Arroyos, a hamlet 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of the northern industrial city of Monterrey, capital of Nuevo Leon state.
"El Arenal ranch, which was used as a safe house (for storing drugs, weapons and kidnap victims), was located thanks to intelligence reports," an army captain from the 7th Military Zone told Efe.
According to the officer, Trujillo led a Gulf cartel cell whose mission was to kill members of the rival Los Zetas organization, mainly in the Nuevo Leon towns of Montemorelos, General Teran and Allende.
On Thursday morning, 40 army special forces officers stormed the ranch and captured the 12 suspects "without firing a single shot," the captain added.
Two Central American men - 32-year-old Guatemalan Arturo Juarez Garcia and 22-year-old Salvadoran Esteban Dagoberto Ugarra - were among the 12 detainees.
Four vehicles, 12 rifles, two fragmentation grenades, four .40-caliber grenades, ammunition clips, ammunition and communications gear were confiscated from the suspects.
The Gulf cartel has been locked in a deadly turf battle with former allies Los Zetas since March 2010, a conflict that has left more than 1,200 dead in Nuevo Leon.