Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, January 8, 2011

El Tomate Captured by Military

Mexican military: Suspected drug cartel leader arrested.

By Nick Valencia,
A suspected leader of a Mexican drug cartel was arrested in Tijuana, Mexico, along with four other alleged cartel members, the Mexican military said.

Jesus Israel de la Cruz Lopez is believed to be a leader in the Sinaloa cartel, Mexico's largest drug mafia, which took a strong interest in the region after recent arrests of a rival cartel's leadership.

In a news release Wednesday, the Mexican military said it arrested Cruz Lopez, alias "El Tomate," and confiscated six packages of marijuana weighing about 65 kilograms, several guns and a GMC truck with Mexican plates.

Last January, Teodoro Garcia Simental, a top leader for the Tijuana cartel, was arrested in La Paz, California. Garcia was a top lieutenant for the Tijuana cartel until he defected to the rival Sinaloa cartel after a power struggle.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has touted Tijuana as an example of a success story against the drug cartels in his war on organized crime. However, a Tijuana police spokesman said recently that there has been a resurgence of drug cartel activity in the coastal city.

U.S. authorities discovered about 30 tons of marijuana in November that were part of a smuggling operation using a tunnel under the California-Mexico border.

The 600-yard tunnel -- which featured a rail system, lighting and ventilation -- connected a warehouse in Tijuana to one in an industrial area of San Diego.


  1. Yeah, this happened a few days ago. His name has been kicking around for awhile, he's a Teo survivor, probably kept in the game by light support from Mayo, the guy was a police officer who defected in 2008 to join El Teo against Ingeniero. If you saw his police picture you would think he was a nice guy, he looked like a nice fat kid.

    Sinaloa cartel 'leader' is overdoing it a a little bit, I feel, the dude was a cell leader at best, and has probably never even been to Sinaloa, another CAF deserter.

  2. Also, today arrested an 8 person group, who supposedly were under Engineer.

  3. Did they wake his fat ass up and take this photo? That isn't a gangster. El Chayan still has the best arrested look I have seen.

  4. here's something or is it?
    agarraron al El Aquiles

  5. @J

    u see that link 3:32 left?

    I haven't been able to confirm the story with a second source. Have u heard anything about this?

  6. I just woke up, and thats the first I've heard of that. It would be big news, pretty significant blow against that side, but I can't find another article, and I've never heard of that site before, which doesn't mean much. If nothing surfaces on AFN or Frontera in the next day or so, it's probably fake.

  7. I don't know how send emails but check out this intense shootout BB. Can somebody cover this story?

  8. Smurf, on the subject of Tijuana, I found, online, the unsealed indictment for 'Operation Green Light', which was the CAF operating in Tijuana and San Diego for roughly 6 months, recorded conversations, confidential informants, pretty fascinating stuff, from a day to day point of view. If you would want to check it out, it might be a good story, although it would have to just highlights, as it's 86 pages long.

  9. @ J Can you post the link for "Operation Green Light" here in the comments so I can have a long read this night??

  10. J,

    Would really like to take a look at that info. send me a link (or post it here if you like)


    Link to indictment for 'Operation Luz Verde' targeting FSO members operating in San Diego and Tijuana. Pretty interesting, that despite his name all over the indictment (Fernando Sanchez Organization) he is literally not mentioned ONCE, on a phone, in person, at all. Armando Villareal, however, pretty much got infiltrated on this one, as he was repeatedly talking drugs and money with confidential informants.

    Smurf, it'd be cool if you could incorporate this into a story, as a platform for discussion at least, this is the only one I've ever seen detail cartel operations in the US. Pretty surprising how brazen and reckless they were.

  12. The thing that I found incredulous is that Armando Villareal Heredia "El Gordo" has moved operations to Zapopan. Los Valencia or the Milenio Cartel run Zapopan under the CDS flag. How is it possible he would relocate to Zapopan? Nacho got killed about 6-7 months ago. El Tigre (Margarito Soto Reyes) was captured about 3 months ago. The promomotion of El Tigre resulted in the Pacifico Sur route being taken over by El Tigre. El Tigre was basically shipping only base chemicals. There has been an expotential increase in the killings in Zapopan over the last 12 months. They are finding bodies in the Primavera almost daily now it seems. There are different factions fighting there now. I am almost convinced now that El Gordo's retreat to Zapopan was a strategic retreat. I believe that his organization FSO, Los Zeta's, are invading territory that has aways been control by the CDS. The Colima and Milenio Cartels are in cohorts with CDS now as are the FM (which is in almost disarray). This could turn out to be interesting to say the least. My expectations are this. FSO is in Zapopan to stir things up and bring out the others. A lot of the guys in Zapopan are in Acapulco at the moment. As Acapulco calms down because of larger policing, expect Zapopan to become the next big battleground. It makes sense that the best strategic move is to draw the CDS away from what they have held as theirs forever. They think it would always be there to return to. The strategy bding to slip in the back door, create a foothold while lots of the guys are away, and hammer away on them when they return. This woud force Chapo to re-examine his control of an area that has NEVER been threatened. In my honest opinion, Zapopan/Guadalajara is about to explode this year. We will see as time passes.

    El Gringo

  13. I think Gordo is just laying low, he's been indicted in the US, and is wanted in Tijuana, and close to Inge, I don't think that his move has much to do with moving in on CDS territory, at all, I don't know if CAF/FSO has even half the resources to fight for territory outside of Tijuana.

  14. this looks like he's on a serious coke binge.

  15. Looks like early stage Congestive Heart Failure to me.


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