The Reality of a Trafficker
Leal Octavio Hernandez, known to be an upper level lieutenant of Fernando Sanchez Arellano, was arrested on April 28 in Tijuana. Statements made by him, after his arrest, and the accompanying Zeta Tijuana story offer conflicting insight into the man, also known as 'killer'. Octavio Hernandez also gave authorities information concerning Alfredo Azarte, 'El Aquiles', and his brother, Rene Artega, 'La Rana', known to be the representatives of the Sinaloa Cartel in Tijuana, as well as information about the father of Juan Sillas Rocha, 'Don Juan', who Hernandez alleges is leading the cell, previously belonging to his son. This is contrary to reports claiming Hernandez had been moved up to fill this role.
According to 'El Chapito', he has never been involved in kidnappings or murders, and despite what the Zeta claims, is not from Puebla, but is a native of Tijuana. The profile of 'El Chapito' and his role in the CAF painted quite a different picture, implicating Hernandez in a string of kidnappings and murders, in fact, claiming he was one of the primary enforcers of Sanchez Arellano against 'Los Teos'. Perhaps, 'Chapito' is trying to distance himself from the violent legacy he leaves behind, yet the man arrested last week, did not seem to be the ruthless cell leader he was said to be. Arrested with one other man, who has been identidied as the brother in law of Octavio Hernandez, and who he claimed was not involved in criminal activity and trafficking. 'Chapito', major wholesale drug trafficker, was arrested with 180 kilograms of marijuana.
He admitted to being involved in trafficking across the border, as well as local retail sales, moving about 15-20 kilos a week, sometimes up to 100. He worked with tiendoeros, small time drug dealers in Zona Rio, moving marijuana through them, for top prices. He also crossed pounds across the border, paying 150 a kilo for each one crossed, in cars, or by people walking across San Ysidro, to a customer in Spring Valley, San Diego who paid $300 a pound. Hardly the work of a cartel lieutenant, and in fact, Chapito says he was not part of any cartel, at the time of his capture, resulting in a dangerous work environment, because he was not 'paying floor', fearing La Rana and 'El Marquitos', whom he said did not respect women or children.
Chapito admitted knowing 'El Aquiles', but, clarified that the two had fallen out over a woman, named 'Carolina', in 2010. No reference to the hanged bodies, and severed heads, bearing notes, presumably both to and from 'Killer', and the alleged feud between the two. Aquiles, he said lived with La Rana, in San Luis Colorado, Sonora, and Mexicali, running operations by radio contact with subordinates. Aquiles is believed to be the main one crossing drugs across the border, by the tunnels found in Tijuana. Chapito claimed to have no relationship with Jose Soto, 'El Tigre', who leads the remaining 'Los Teos', and is said to have his stronghold in Rosario Beach. Yet, strangely said they were not treacherous, and had confidence with them.
After the falling out with Aquiles, he joined Juan Sillas Rocha, yet claimed the relationship was never very strong, as they did not offer him protection, financing, weapons, people, but he asked for permission to 'work', and started paying taxes to Sillas Rocha. As already was known, when Sillas Rocha returned to Tijuana, he was out of money, and in trouble, when he was captured, Chapito says the cell fell apart, some joined Juan Pina Sillas, the father of Juan Sillas, who runs his group from Ensenada, some went to Aquiles, some left Tijuana. Chapito said he was tired, and felt trapped in the city, and wanted to leave to Sinaloa, but was a native of Tijuana, not Puebla. So, he kept working, outside of the criminal politics of the city, and without support from any local law enforcement, citing Julian Leyazola as the beginning of the change. Also, noting the ministerial police were with Aquiles.
In the article detailing the initial arrest of Chapito, he is a feared figure, a brutal killer, allegedly the closest confidante of Sanchez Arellano, yet, in his arrest, he seems disheveled, exhausted, and paints a picture that reads more like a tale of employment woes, rather then a bloody rise to the upper echelon of organized crime. All could be lies, smoke and mirrors, invented by Hernandez, to keep him from a lengthy prison term, or just the reality of an independent trafficker in Tijuana, without resources, fearing the authorities, and vicious and vindictive plaza bosses, who, in turn, when caught may not be the men we expected either.
Sources Zeta Tijuana, AFN Tijuana, for the full article, go to Zeta's website.