César Gastélum is arrested in Cancun.
|Cesar Gastelum Serrano and his brothers|
Mexican marines and police have arrested a man authorities describe as a leading cocaine
trafficker for Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, authorities said Sunday.. Monte Alejandro Rubido, Mexico's national security commissioner, said Cesar Gastelum Serrano was arrested Saturday in the resort city of Cancun.
last of the old-style drug capos still at large in Mexico — and with Damaso Lopez, who has been mentioned as a possible successor to arrested Sinaloa drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. (DD; El Universal reported the authorities identified him as a partner with El Mayo).
Authorities said Gastélum operated a family company specializing in scaffolding, which allowed him to move "multiple tons" of cocaine per week and added that he was carrying a pistol and 700 grams (24.7 ounces) of cocaine at the time of his arrest.
Rubido said that when Gastelum Serrano was in Cancun, "he moved around the area with a low profile, without bodyguards. He did not carry any identification, not even false ones, to avoid detection."
Rubido said Gastelum Serrano had operated in Honduras, and had been linked to the killing of law enforcement officials there. He said he operated for a time in San Pedro Sula, Honduras' most violent city, and moved Colombian cocaine through Central America to the U.S. market, as well as distributing drugs in Central America.
In December 2013 the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Gastélum as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker pursuant to the Kingpin Act along with three of his brothers: Alfredo, Jaime, and Guadalupe Candelario Gastélum Serrano.
“With support from his brothers, César Gastélum Serrano has been able to establish himself as one of the most prolific cocaine suppliers for Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel,” OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin said at the time.
The Treasury added that Gastélum used a vast criminal network to lead a cocaine trafficking organization capable of moving tons of cocaine per week through Honduras and Guatemala to Mexico.
Consequently, all assets of those designated that are based in the United States or in the control of U.S. persons were frozen, and U.S. persons were generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.