Mexican Federal Police arrested six suspected hit men and kidnappers linked to the Carteles Unidos criminal organization, authorities said.
The suspects were arrested over the weekend at a home in Temixco, a town in the central state of Morelos, where authorities arrived after detecting several armed individuals inside, the federal Public Safety Secretariat said Tuesday.
The officers freed one person who had been held captive for five days, the secretariat said.
Carteles Unidos “is known for carrying out kidnappings and homicides, using extreme violence” against “members of rival groups,” the secretariat said.
According to Mexican authorities, that criminal association “was looking to gain a foothold in Temixco.”
One of the detainees was identified as the 30-year-old suspected leader of Carteles Unidos in Temixco, Idemar Ramirez Martinez, "El Apache" who is accused of homicide, kidnapping and coordinating the sale and distribution of drugs in that area.
Ramirez confessed to participating in the murder of six people whose bodies were dumped in different Morelos municipalities.
Four men and a minor aged 16 to 32 were arrested along with Ramirez and accused of guarding kidnap victims, committing homicides and selling drugs.
Security forces also confiscated 39 packets of marijuana, 58 envelopes with cocaine, five rifles, two handguns, 120 rounds of ammunition, nine ammunition clips, six radiotelephones, three cellular phones, a bulletproof vest, cash, five automobiles (three of them stolen) and two stolen motorcycles.
According to media reports, Carteles Unidos is an alliance of several drug mobs that was formed last year to battle Los Zetas, a gang of special forces deserters turned outlaws that is considered Mexico’s most violent criminal outfit.