El Mono detained in Tijuana
In the second high profile arrest in the last week, elements of the Mexican Army detained Luis Manuel Toscano, Rodrqguez 'El Mono', in the Zona Norte area of the city. Toscano is long reported to have been one of Fernando Sanchez Arellano's most important operators in the city. Early reports and rumors claim that the previously arrested, Julio Cesar Salas, 'El M-4' was the direct superior of 'El Mono', and gave him up to the Army. Toscano is said to have had a large hand, if not complete control, of the retail drug sales in Zona Norte, valued and profitable territory, with a large number of addicts, clubs, brothels and prostitutes, as well as tourists. Well known sex and strip clubs, such as Hong Kong are in the Zonta Norte's 'Red Light District'.
Toscano was arrested with 38 grams of cocaine, in different wraps, one rifle, one pistol, various munitions and cartridges, as well as 20,000 US dollars, and a car. 'El Mono' was detained, based, officially, on a citizen complaint, of an armed man in a vehicle, the Army stopped the vehicle, and arrested the suspect. In August 2009, Federal agents arrested another Sanchez Arellano lieutenant, Manuel Zambrano 'El Jimmy', in the Zona Norte.
Early versions of the story indicated Toscano was caught on July 3rd, only hours after the arrest of 'El M-4', in a sweeping raid of the Zona Norte, in which Federal officers from Mexico City swept through the streets, bars, and clubs, making arrests, and identifying individuals inside these establishments. Last December, agents of the AFI made similar raids of the area, arresting and removing men and women linked to sex trafficking.
'El Mono' has long been linked to the cells of Sanchez Arellano, however he was said to have paid plaza to El Teo, during the war, to avoid bloodshed, but is a Sanchez Arellano loyalist. In January 2011, Toscano and his oldest son were wounded in an assassination attempt, both were taken to the Red Cross, and released, his wife vanished from her residence after the shooting.
It was assumed at the time that someone wanted to take his place, or the CAF was trying to internally cleanse their operations. It appears he was in good graces, again with his employers, but time and interviews will hopefully further explain things. El Mono was also mentioned in an ongoing feud with 'Los Litos' another Sanchez Arellano retail distribution group, of which there are said to be 10-20.
Manuel Toscano is 34 years old, and originally from Manzanillo, Colima. He is linked to to a kidnapping of an American women in July of 2010, among other crimes. The brother of 'Lito' was killed last year, possibly in retaliation, by Toscano. Since the November 2011 arrest of Juan Sillas Rocha, the hits have kept coming for El Ingeniero', Octavio Leal Hernandez, 'El Chapito' was arrested in March, followed by the two arrests this week, of alleged cell leaders for the CAF.
Sources: AFN Tijuana, Zeta Tijuana, Borderland Beat