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

Friday, September 17, 2021

Major Hit to CAF's El Flaquito, Cabo 89 Arrested, Baja California

"HEARST" for Borderland Beat

The State Attorney General's Office (FGE) arrested Édgar Pérez Villa alias "Cabo 89", a lieutenant of the Cartel de Arellano Felix (CAF) group working under El Flaquito in Baja California. 

Due to prior intelligence work by the FGE, authorities were able to identify and anticipate the movements of Edgar Perez Villa, alias “Cabo 89”, “El Nier”, or “El Cuervo” (The Raven). Cabo 89 was infamously hard to track down to his use of different pseudonyms, which he used to keep a low profile, enabling him to avoid being arrested by the authorities or being identified by a rival cartel group. According to Zeta Tijuana, one of the pseudonyms he employed was “León Emmanuel Castillo”. 

State Security and Investigation Guard (GESI) agents reportedly closed in on Cabo 89 while he was traveling onboard a taxi alongside a woman, identified as Lucía, as well as two minors. 

Officers when the white Toyota Corolla Taxi Libre drove down Diaz Ordaz Boulevard,  in the La Mesa district of Tijuana. During his arrest, authorities found Cabo 89 to be in possession of a .9 millimeter caliber firearm, ammo and 20 bags with a total of eight grams of methamphetamine.

The woman who was with Cabo 89 at the time of the arrest is identified as Lucía. She has a record for drug dealing, for which she was handed over to the Public Prosecutor's Office along with Édgar, while the children were taken into custody.

The secretary of the Baja California Security Roundtable, Francisco Ramos, confirmed the arrest of Cabo 89 and described him as "a priority target" for being "the operative leader of a criminal group". In addition to being one of the most wanted men in Baja California, Cabo 89 has an active judicial process against him in the Southern District Court of California, ever since March 6, 2020, for heroin and methamphetamine trafficking.

The FGE also confirmed that the U.S. Department of Justice notified them of a second investigation against Cabo 89, filed on March 16, 2021, in which he is charged with conspiracy to distribute and import controlled substances in the neighboring country.

The US Federal Prosecutor's Office adds that during Cabo 89’s time in Los Cabos, they "used unbridled violence to ensure that the CJNG maintained the possibility of trafficking drugs through Tijuana, Mexico to the United States through San Diego". The State Attorney's Office stated that if found guilty by the San Diego Court, "Cabo 89" would face a sentence of 10 years to life in prison and a financial penalty of up to $10 million dollars.

Cabo 89 began his criminal career as a part of a Tijuana cell of the Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG) called “Los Cabos”, which birthed some of the most prominent actors currently in the Tijuana criminal world. Although Los Cabos began as a Sinaloa Cartel group, by the time of Cabo 89's verifiable known entry into the group, they were a CJNG cell. This CJNG cell primarily operated out of the Sanchez Taboada neighborhood of Tijuana but expanded outwards, spreading into neighboring areas over time. 

During his time in the CJNG’s Los Cabos, Cabo 89 was believed to be a subordinate of Edgar Alejandro Herrera Pardo, alias “Cabo 8” or “El Caimán” (The Alligator). From 2017 to 2019, both Cabo 8 and Cabo 89 worked together to establish different retail drug sales points, then they moved onto organizing larger transshipment of drugs to the United States of America, this gave them more capital to work with and  as Zeta Tijuana writes “allowed him to obtain economic resources to strengthen his criminal structure.” 

But growing a criminal enterprise in size does not come without its cost in bloodshed, as Cabo 8 and Cabo 89 were said to be responsible for the murder of two U.S. citizens, originally from Chula Vista, in an apartment in the Lomas Verdes neighborhood of Tijuana in November 2018. 

Evidence for this comes from a US government investigation in 2018 in which they monitored for a little more than six months a group chat of "Los Cabos" members. In this group chat over 150 murders were planned by CJNG Los Cabos. 

Some of the victims whose death was planned out in the group chat include: the aforementioned two U.S. citizens, in Lomas Verdes neighborhood and three officers of the Tijuana Municipal Police.

In 2019, something changed. The high-powered bosses of the CJNG in Jalisco began an internal cleansing of bad leadership figures in their Baja California operation. 

On May 5, 2019, the major CJNG boss Héctor Manuel Morales Guzmán, alias “El Gallero”, was summoned to a meeting in Guadalajara. El Gallero was believed to be the successor to “El Piolín” (arrested in 2017) and thought of as one of the top five most powerful leaders of the CJNG operation in Baja California at the time of this summoning. 

However El Gallero has reportedly become erratic and unhinged years earlier, in 2017. According to former CJNG member David López Jiménez, alias “El Lobo”, Gallero had begun heavily using drugs and became an addict. This further led to Gallero becoming paranoid of his CJNG subordinates, convinced they would betray him. 

Gallero’s behaviour and erratic leadership led to the exodus of many CJNG members away from the group, including the aforementioned “El Lobo” who later joined El Flaquito’s CAF group. 

So on May 5, 2019, El Gallero was summoned to a meeting in Guadalajara with the higher ups in the CJNG. El Gallero brought along Cabo 8 (the long-time boss of Cabo 89) with him to the Guadalajara meeting. Whether Cabo 8 was requested at said meeting is unknown. 

At some point during the day, a shooting broke out. This shooting resulted in the abduction of El Gallero and the serious gunshot injury of Cabo 8 by unknown individuals. El Gallero was never heard from again after his abduction.

Cabo 8 in the hospital following the shooting.

Whether Cabo 8 was an intended target of this take out or if Gallero has unwittingly brought Cabo 8 merely as support is unknown. In some Zeta articles, they cite ministerial agent sources who say that Cabo 8 was only with Gallero as a bodyguard for him on his trip. 

There is heavy speculation that the CJNG was behind the shooting and abduction in Guadalajara as they had become dissatisfied with Gallero’s leadership. 

This speculation is supported by the fact that the CJNG had previously disposed of an unruly Tijuana boss in this manner. In 2016, the CJNG requested a meeting with Arturo Giovanni Gómez Herrera, alias "El Gross". Right before El Gross was requested Zeta reports it was known that the bosses were angry because Gross was “building a slaughterhouse” and "jalando marca", or ruining the brand. El Gross was then shot in Guadalajara, where he traveled to for the meeting, on October 27, 2016. 

Cabo 8 fled Jalisco while still injured, having just narrowly escaped the same fate as El Gallero. Then ten days after the “disappearing” of El Gallero, on May 15, 2019, jailed CJNG Tijuana boss Juan José Pérez Vargas, alias "El Piolín", died in prison under mysterious circumstances. 

El Piolín was being held in Puente Grande prison in Jalisco, which is largely believed to be controlled by the CJNG. It is speculated that the death of such a prominent leader like El Piolín could not have occurred in a CJNG prison without it being on the instruction of the CJNG higher ups. 

Following the attack in Guadalajara, Cabo 8 had to return to Baja California because authorities were building a case against him that could eventually lead to an arrest warrant and end his criminal career. On June 20, 2019, Cabo 8 and his lawyers appeared in court in order to file an amparo against any "warrant for arrest, investigation, presentation, detention or arrest." On July 17, the amparo file was dismissed due to "non-existence of the act claimed." This forced Cabo 8 to have to flee the state of Baja California and lay low in another state, abandoning his CJNG cell and his lieutenant Cabo 89.

Maine de la Cruz Rojas

Then sometime before 1:00 am in the morning on August 4, 2019,  Cabo 8 was arrested. Federal authorities had been monitoring Cabo 8’s girlfriend Maine de la Cruz Rojas, a model and winner of a casino-organized bikini contest in October 2016. On August 4, she had slipped away in the middle of the night in order to secretly meet up with Cabo 8 at a bus stop in the city of Querétaro, in Querétaro state. Together, Maine and Cabo 8 boarded a passenger bus bound for San Luis Potosí, trying to run away together.  

Cabo 8 in custody on August 4, 2019 

But because authorities had been monitoring Maine’s movement, they were able to send in a team of members of the High Impact Operations Unit of the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) to intercept the bus and arrest the couple. Maine de la Cruz Rojas was detained and charged for her probable responsibility in committing the crime against health (drug charges) while Cabo 8 was charged with kidnapping.

With the sudden arrest of El Gallero, the murder of El Piolín, the Los Cabos members began to get nervous. This nervousness was only compounded when Cabo 8 was forced to flee the state and later turned up arrested on serious kidnapping charges with rumors of US extradition surrounding Cabo 8’s arrest. 

Narcomantas began turning up in 2020, warning members of Cabo 8’s group to stay loyal to the CJNG. 

On August 6, 2020, a CJNG narcomanta (narco message sign) appeared in the Urbi Villa area of Tijuana, warning Los Cabos members to not stray away from the organization. A bloody corpse that showed evidence of torture and gunshot wounds was found on to the side of Sierra Madre Street with the following message pinned to it, as translated by Sol Prendido: 

This will be the fate of those who switch allegiance. The purge against the turncoat Cabos continues.

Later that same day, a suspicious suitcase showed up in the parking lot of a popular nightclub called Siete de Copas, or the Seven of Cups. This nightclub is considered to be a popular nightlife hotspot, hosting musical guests, strippers and special performers. It has also seen its fair share of cartel violence over the years. 

The infamous Siete de Copas nightclub.

When authorities were called to the scene of the parking lot, they found the suspicious suitcase as well as a CJNG narco message blanket which read: 

All of the people of Cabo 8 are going to end up like this if they do not align themselves with the good guys. You, Gastón and Fernando, will follow. 

When police opened the suitcase, a human head was found inside. The “Gastón” mentioned in the narcomanta likely refers to CAF operator Gastón Martínez Cárdenas alias “El Gastón” who left the CJNG alongside El Lobo and was now working for the CAF, directly reporting to El Lobo. 

In 2017, the Secretary of Municipal Public Security of Tijuana, Marco Sotomayor, commented that Siete de Copas nightclub was a place where several crimes had been committed because its clientele were people from the Sánchez Taboada neighborhood, with a high crime incidence. Adding “Currently, the interior of the bar is an important drug sales point in the Los Pinos area, which is currently controlled by the CAF and right now the CJNG and Sinaloa are fighting for control of it.”

This added context of the nightclub where the suitcase was found being controlled by the CAF is important to note because it is believed that CAF operators El Flaquito and El Lobo were openly trying to recruit the followers of Cabo 8 during this time, trying to get them to leave the CJNG for the CAF just as El Lobo had done a few years before.

It believed that El Flaquito and El Lobo were successful in convincing Cabo 89, one of the top lieutenants left from the Cabo 8 group, to leave the CJNG and join them in the CAF. This same El Flaquito led CAF group currently maintains an alliance with cells linked to the Chapitos Sinaloa Cartel.

This most recent arrest of Cabo 89 is actually his second arrest in less than a year, as he was arrested in October 2020. Cabo 89 was arrested at 8:10 a.m. on October 8  2020 in the Camino Verde neighborhood of Tijuana. According to the police report, Cabo 89 was walking on the sidewalk and when he saw uniformed police officers approaching him, “he suddenly grabbed, with his right hand, from the front part of his waist, what appeared to be, according to our experience, a pistol type firearm”. The officers ordered Cabo 89 to throw the pistol to the ground and he complied. 

Cabo 89 was then arrested in possession of a firearm however he was soon released at a hearing held on October 10, 2020. During this hearing, the district judge, César René Ávila Saldaña, granted a conditional release to both Cabo 89 and Víctor, alias Cabo 85, both from the CAF, on the grounds that they were "not violent persons" so they did not require pre-trial detention.

This decision by the judge came despite the fact that the arrests were already qualified as legal and even the judge endorsed the arguments of the Prosecutor's Office to link them both to the trial process for the crime of possession of a firearm.

Update 9/18/2021 10:30AM CST: Added clarifying sentence "Although Los Cabos began as a Sinaloa Cartel group, by the time of Cabo 89's verifiable known entry into the group, they were a CJNG cell."

The Arrest and Who is Cabo 89 Sources: Libertad Bajo Palabra, Uniradio Formula, AFN Tijuana Article 1, AFN Article 2, Cadena Noticias Article 1, Cadena Article 2Alfredo Alvarez, Punto Norte, Zeta Tijuana, Article 2, Article 3, El Sol de Tijuana 

Cabo 89 Witnesses The Cleansing Sources: Zeta Article 1, Zeta Article 2

The Arrest of Cabo 89's Boss Sources: FGR Official Photo ReleaseLa Palabra del Caribe, El Sol de San Luis, Sentido Comun, Milenio, Lopez Doriga 

Cabo 89 Leaves CJNG Sources: Veraz Informa, Zeta Article 1, Article 2, Article 3 

Cabo 89's Prior Arrest Sources: Punto Norte, Zeta Tijuana Article 1, Article 2


  1. Replies
    1. 4:05 why be bothered by it then?

    2. Because dumb people keep posting it.

    3. Well you sound dumb complaining 7:08. Just ignore it. Or maybe your part of the pro Chapo reddit cheer squad.

    4. Old yes I agree lame too, what an whole.

    5. 20 bags with 8 oz drugs, hardly worth the bother, not enough for the model's panties...
      Siempre salen con sus putas chingaderas, mejor echensen "un pinche cumbion bien loco" you tube

  2. Resultados de "La Cuarta". Poco a poco.

    1. 3:28 la cuarta es la que te dejean ir por el yoyo.

  3. Se me antoja una caguama bien helada y unos tacos de adoperro de una carreta cerca de la macro.

    1. @1:16 the best Tacos come from the carretas, do you really think that that Carretas always use beef, lamb,chivo meat? Notice how stray dogs are usually nowhere near eye sight? Still the best Tacos, you know the place is solid when you ask for a refresco de coca y te reponden con liquida, o de polvo?

    2. Lol how much meat can you get from a skinny street dog. It’s ridiculous that someone will think dogs are use to make tacos.

    3. 1:16 adobada ,al pastor o de trompo amigo.

    4. Bola de corruptos albureros.
      Nos van a cerrar el blog!
      Pero sabiendo a Gloria, aunque sea de caballo la moronga

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I was surprised you guys didnt post that arrest of those 5 guys from san diego a few months ago.. 150 murders over 6 months god damn

    1. I am not surprised I am amazed at the Dodger games are going great.

  6. Chapulines to the core..
    I thought cabos were originally cds (under MAYO)but switched to cjng before switching to caf..
    I don't think they just came out of nowhere like the article said

    1. They were originally CDS. Yes. They were.

      Sorry if I wrote the story in a way that didn't communicate that. I'll review my wording and revise. Thanks for the feedback

    2. But there are still lots of Los Cabos who are still under CJNG and didn't switch, like Cabo 30, Cabo 50.

      So I wouldn't say Los Cabos switched to CAF, like a big group decision. Over the course of a few years, Flaquito and Lobo poached a number of Cabos.

    3. Yea, cabos are fighting each other mainly because of the fall out and switching cartels.
      There are still many cabos in cjng

  7. Flaquito de donde ? Pinche cachetón. He looks fat now.

  8. Why are there always so many next level cell leaders in TJ? Seriously, seems like cartels put their most dangerous in that plaza, must be lucrative as hell.

    1. Pretty sure you just answered your own question amigo

    2. 6:57 not lucrative for criminals, the cuicos just have all of them by the tail fighting each other for survival.

  9. Replies
    1. Yes I’m good. I hope you’re also good to go. 👍

    2. 5:26 I hope you get chorro from the tacos.


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