The son of former top Gulf drug cartel boss Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen was captured by marines, the Mexican Navy Secretariat said Tuesday.
Ezequiel Cardenas Rivera was detained last Friday along with four associates while he attended a party at a house in Matamoros, a border city in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, the secretariat said.
The arrest of Cardenas Rivera, known as “El Junior,” was made possible by a tip and “naval intelligence work,” the secretariat said, without explaining why it waited four days to announce the capture.
The suspects, who were armed, were detained as they started to drive away from the house “in a hurry,” the Navy Secretariat said, adding that no shots were fired in the operation.
Jose de Jesus Garcia Hernandez, 32, suspected of being the Gulf cartel’s boss in Matamoros, located across the border from Brownsville, Texas, and Rene Alberto Munguia Elizondo, 43, who worked as an accountant for the criminal organization, were arrested along with Cardenas Rivera.
The other two suspects detained in the operation were identified as Javier Enrique Farias Garcia, 49, another Gulf cartel money man, and Erasmo Garcia Galvan, 37, who specialized in smuggling drugs into the United States.
Marines seized three rifles, six ammunition clips, 180 rounds of ammunition, five fragmentation grenades and three vehicles from the suspects.
All of the suspects were flown to Mexico City and handed over to the Siedo organized crime unit of the Attorney General’s Office last Saturday, the secretariat said.
Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, known as “Tony Tormenta,” was killed in a shootout on Nov. 5, 2010, with marines, marking one of the biggest blows dealt by the government to Mexico’s drug cartels.
The Gulf cartel was founded by Juan Nepomuceno Guerra in the 1970s and was later led by Juan Garcia Abrego, who was arrested in 1996 and extradited to the United States.
Osiel Cardenas Guillen later became the Gulf cartel’s undisputed boss.
Cardenas was arrested in 2003, but he continued running the Gulf cartel, one of the most violent and powerful criminal organizations in Mexico, until his extradition to the United States four years later.
Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen took over the Gulf cartel’s leadership following his brother’s extradition to the United States
El hijo de 'Tony Tormenta' es detenido por marinos en Tamaulipas
Detienen a 'El Junior', hijo de 'Tony Tormenta'