Arellano-Felix members arrested in Tecate Story/Analysis
Juan Carlos Flores, 'El Argentino', alleged second in command to 'El Viejon', principal subordinates of Fernando Sanchez Arellano, 'El Ingeniero' was detained late last Friday night. Flores, along with four others were arrested in Tecate, after a traffic stop of one of the men revealed 45 grams of methamphetamine. The man detained initally led the PEP (State Preventative Police) to the other members of the criminal cell, said to be led by 'El Viejon', who is unknown to authorities at this point.
'El Argentino', 28 years old, was in Tecate for four months where his duties and responsibilities for Sanchez Arellano included collecting plaza for dealers and other criminals operating in the area, and distributing and delivering product to tienditas, retail outlets for small amounts of drugs. Also seized during the operation was 9.5 kilos of marijuana, and a .223 caliber handgun, in addition to a .357 pistol. The relatively small amounts of drugs and weapons signify to me that the operators were not significantly involved in the cell the belonged to, or, it could signify that the cell in question was not a large scale operation. It seems that this could be a case of authorities 'padding' arrests, for publicity or other reasons, earlier this year police in Tijuana arrested a 22 year old 'lieutenant' of Sanchez Arellano, named 'El Jackal', with one kilogram of cocaine. The lack of press concerning that story and the subjects absence from any wanted list involving CAF members seems to display that he was not in fact an integral part of Sanchez Arellano's organization.
What these arrests do show is the continuing existence of the group of Ingeniero, who has been notably absent from headlines, arrests, articles for the last year. The low key boss may still have a thriving organization, or these may just be the remnants of a group reeling from losses inflcited by authorities and rivals. And who find themselves increasingly marginalized in their places of influence, Tijuana and northern Baja California by the bands of Achilles, who is loyal to the Sinaloa Cartel.