Gabíno Salas Valenciano, alias "el Ingeniero" lieutenant of the Sinaloa Cartel for the Valle de Juarez was shot and killed this afternoon by the Mexican army.
Unofficial information reveals that the drug trafficker died in the village of Placitas, near Guadalupe.
In June of this year his body guard was arrested and provided information on Salas. Below is an article from El Paso Times from June.
Drug world unveiled after alleged cartel bodyguard's El Paso arrest
The former bodyguard of a high-ranking leader in a Mexican drug cartel offered insight into border drug smuggling after his arrest in El Paso, according to federal court documents.
Rigoberto Ruiz Alatorre is accused of being a former bodyguard for Gabino Salas Valenciano, an alleged narcotrafficker known as "El Ingeniero" (the engineer) who is reputed to run the Sinaloa cartel's operations in the Valley of Juárez.
Ruiz is awaiting trial in U.S. District Court in El Paso on charges of murder, drug trafficking, smuggling and drug conspiracy. Ruiz was arrested Feb. 16, 2012. (click on DEA chart for better readability)
Earlier this week, Ruiz's lawyer, Randolph Ortega, filed a motion to appoint an investigator to help the defense, court documents stated. A trial date has not been set.
Ortega said Thursday that he could not comment in detail on the case.
"The issues in this case are extremely sensitive, and the charges are extremely complex. I can't comment further," Ortega said.
According to a federal criminal complaint, Ruiz was arrested after he was confronted by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in the parking lot of the Comfort Suites hotel after agents learned Ruiz was going to be in El Paso, allegedly for a drug deal.
DEA agents told Ruiz that they knew he was involved with high-ranking Mexican drug traffickers. Documents stated that Ruiz agreed to answer questions.
The criminal complaint stated that Ruiz told DEA agents that he has known Salas for a long time and that he started working for Salas in about 2006, when Salas' brother Valente Salas paid him $50,000 to be a bodyguard for Gabino Salas in the Valley of Juárez.
Valente Salas was reputedly the leader of a drug organization in the Valley of Juárez, a busy marijuana smuggling corridor southeast of Juárez across the border from the Fabens and Fort Hancock area.
The valley was a battleground in the war between the Juárez and Sinaloa drug cartels for control of border smuggling routes.
In 2008, Mexican federal officials said that Gabino Salas ordered the burning of ranches, homes and vehicles in the Valley of Juárez in retaliation for the decapitations of his brother Valente Salas and cousin.
Inherited cartel control
After his brother's death, Gabino Salas inherited control of the organization. He is reputed to be a lieutenant in the Sinaloa drug cartel.
According to the criminal complaint, Ruiz told the DEA that Gabino Salas, another man known only as "Gavilan" and unnamed others were moving about 1,400 pounds of marijuana into the U.S. every week.
The document stated that Ruiz said that his job was to protect Gabino Salas during the movement of drug loads.
Ruiz allegedly told agents that the marijuana was in backpacks carried by people, often drug addicts, hired to carry the loads in the desert across the border, the complaint stated. After crossing the border, drug carriers would meet a vehicle that would then take the marijuana to a ranch for storage.
Ruiz "overheard Gabino Salas giving instructions, via radio, to the other lookouts with call signs, such as 'L2' to determine the area was safe (free of law enforcement presence) to carry the marijuana into the United States," the criminal complaint stated. Ruiz "also explained that Gabino Salas would divert the immigration officer's attention by sending individuals running across the United States-Mexico border without marijuana."
Ruiz was initially charged with conspiracy to smuggle more than 1,000 kilos of marijuana. A federal grand jury in November issued a superseding indictment accusing Ruiz and other unnamed defendants on charges of drug conspiracy, smuggling, using firearms in relation to drug trafficking and murder in connection with drug trafficking.
July 2006 slaying
The indictment stated that the murder charge is in connection with the death of Fermin Rodriguez-Gonzalez on July 16, 2006. The location of the homicide and other details were not mentioned.
The now-defunct Albuquerque Tribune reported that a man named Fermin Rodriguez Gonzales (sic), 21, was found shot to death in a truck that was still running and had gone into an irrigation ditch in Albuquerque on July 16, 2006. The homicide was reported as unsolved and drug-related.
A DEA spokeswoman declined to comment.
"Judicial proceedings have not been completed, and we can't comment at this time," DEA spokeswoman Special Agent Diana Apodaca said.
Judge issues gag order
Documents show that several documents in the Ruiz case have been sealed by U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo, who also issued a gag order prohibiting anyone involved in the case from discussing it with the news media.
Gabino Salas is among the most-wanted fugitives in the DEA's El Paso region. He remains at large.