Nine members of a gang allied with the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel were arrested this week in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco, a high-ranking Mexican police officer said Friday.
The detentions represent a heavy blow to the La Barredora outfit, the head of the Federal Police regional security division, Luis Cardenas Palomino told a press conference in the capital.
The most important suspect, La Barredora No. 2 Jonathan Martínez Santos, alias “El Jona”, was picked up Friday in Acapulco as Cardenas was presenting the other eight detainees to the media inside the Federal Police hangar at Mexico City’s international airport.
Authorities accuse Martinez Santos of masterminding several murders and kidnappings.
La Barredora has been battling the Independent Cartel of Acapulco for control of the illegal drug trade in the port city and nearby areas in the surrounding state of Guerrero. Both groups emerged from the now-defunct Beltran Leyva outfit.
One of the suspects presented Friday, Francisco Javier Barlon Santos, was described as the head of logistics for the gang’s hit teams and the man in charge of ensuring security at La Barredora’s drug corners in Acapulco.
Police seized a stolen vehicle, an assault rifle, two grenades and a quantity of drugs in the course of making the arrests.
Soldiers and federal police have arrested 410 people since October as part of Operation Safe Guerrero, launched to reduce the level of drug-related violence in the southern state.