By Daniel Borunda
El Paso Times
Juárez police inspect a handgun allegedly used by a Sinaloa cartel member, who was killed in a shootout with police at a home in Juárez last month.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has confirmed that a man killed in a shootout with Juárez police last month was a reputed high-ranking member of the Sinaloa drug cartel.
Jesus Rodrigo "Huichi" Fierro Ramirez was among 24 reputed Sinaloa cartel members indicted last year by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in El Paso.
Fierro, who was on the list of fugitives wanted by the DEA in El Paso, was killed in shootout with Juárez police Jan. 24. He had been sought on racketeering, drug and weapons conspiracy and criminal enterprise charges.
The Juárez Police Department said in a news release that police were responding to calls about shots fired when someone fired at police from the second floor of a two-story home in the 1000 block on Calle Estancia Santa Fe in Las Estancias neighborhood.
During a 30-minute gunbattle, two police officers were wounded, several police vehicles were hit by bullets, and a fire broke out in the home.
Police eventually rushed the middle-class home and fatally shot a man armed with a .45-caliber handgun.
Juárez police didn't identify the man killed, but some news outlets reported the man was a high-level cartel member. A DEA official confirmed that the man was Fierro.
Fierro, a former Chihuahua state police officer, was "a large scale cocaine distributor in the Garduño cell who is known for his extreme acts of violence," the indictment stated.
The indictment alleged that Fierro belonged to a cell of the Sinaloa cartel run by Sergio Garduño Escobedo.
Garduño, according to the indictment, is a former Chihuahua state police commander known as "Coma."
Before the Juárez-Sinaloa cartel war, he paid the Juárez cartel a tax on behalf of the Sinaloa cartel to move drugs through Juárez.
The indictment stated that Fierro is the half brother of Arturo Lozano Mendez, alias "Tigre" and "Lynx," a former Juárez police officer who is accused of being Garduño's right-hand man and allegedly manages Garduño's drug warehouses in Juárez.
Lozano and Garduño were also among those indicted last year in the United States.