Marines seized more than a ton of cocaine and arrested six suspected cartel members in the northern state of Coahuila, Mexico’s navy department said Wednesday.
The confiscated drugs have an estimated market value of $19 million and the men in custody are thought to be members of the Los Zetas cartel, according to an official statement.
Intelligence data laid the basis for Tuesday’s “special” operation targeting a ranch about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Monclova, a navy department spokesman told Efe.
Besides the cocaine, marines seized five rifles, a grenade-launcher, munitions and an armored vehicle from the six suspects found at the scene.
The marines also came across what appeared to be a Los Zetas “rest house” filled with “personal effects, documents and valuable information” regarding the location of the cartel’s leaders, the navy department said.
The troops subsequently discovered another house that was being used to store cars, luxury SUVs, armament and communications gear, as well as workshops for armor-plating vehicles.
Founded by deserters from an elite Mexican special forces unit, Los Zetas has earned a reputation as perhaps the most brutal of Mexico’s drug cartels.