Ten people, including a city official, a police chief and a law enforcement agent, suspected of having links to the Los Zetas drug cartel were arrested in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, officials said Tuesday.
Ruben Muzquiz Riojas, security secretary of the city of Anahuac, police chief Jesus Mario Mata Hernandez and police officer Juan Jesus Mendez were among those arrested.
The suspects, who have been linked to 17 murders, were arrested in the past few days by state and federal authorities, Nuevo Leon Security Council spokesman Jorge Domene said in a press conference.
Army troops and Nuevo Leon State Investigations Agency, or AEI, agents “managed to capture a gang of criminals who mainly operated in the cities of Anahuac and Lampazos,” Nuevo Leon, and Candela, a city in Coahuila state, Domene said.
The suspects kidnapped and murdered their victims, incinerating the bodies to wipe out the evidence, Domene said.
The officials from Anahuac worked for the gang, with Muzquiz Riojas receiving 40,000 pesos (about $3,000) from the cartel, Domene said.
Five vehicles, several cell phones, an ammunition clip for a rifle and ammunition were seized from the suspects.
Human remains were found at two ranches in Anahuac, which is in northern Nuevo Leon.
Los Zetas has been battling the Gulf cartel for control of Nuevo Leon and smuggling routes into the United States.