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

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Boca de Bagre Arrested, Major Hit To La Rana And El Aquiles In Tijuana

"HEARST" for Borderland Beat

Authorities announced Felipe Avitia Sarellana, alias “Boca de Bagre” had been arrested on October 3, 2021. 

Under the CJNG 

In his early criminal career Boca de Bagre had a smattering of low level charges for things like causing a nuisance (2004) and vehicle theft (2008) however there was no definitive cartel relation to these crimes. 

The earliest the news publication Zeta Tijuana was able to trace back Boca’s cartel affiliated history was to 2015, when Boca was a member of a Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) group based in the city of Tijuana in the state of Baja California. 

Boca de Bagre was allegedly a head of hitmen for this CJNG cell and his group of sicarios went on a campaign of executions against Cartel Arellano Felix (CAF) operators who worked at local retail drug sales points, with the goal of taking these sales points as part of the larger CJNG push to own more territory in Tijuana.

This caused a major pushback from the CAF and a wave of violent executions in 2015, in which both cartels threatened each in narcomantas (narco message signs) alongside bodily remains as evidence of their executions.

Following this bloody year, one of the top leaders of the CJNG Tijuana operation named Héctor Manuel Morales Guzmán, alias “El Gallero”, allegedly descended into deep drug-addiction-induced paranoia of his fellow cartel members which drove many CJNG lieutenants to leave the group, including the well known figure David López Jiménez, alias “Cabo 20” or “El Lobo”. 

Shortly following this, the CJNG had an major internal cleansing in which it executed many of its prominent Tijuana leaders, such as Arturo Giovanni Gómez Herrera, alias "El Gross", Juan José Pérez Vargas, alias "El Piolín" and the aforementioned El Gallero. For more details on this period of time, please see this previous story

Boca de Bagre left the CJNG group during this time of turmoil at the very beginning of 2019. He joined up with another fellow CJNG “deserters”, El Lobo and El Tavo, joining their group “La Poderosa Nueva Línea”, which reported to El Flaquito’s CAF group. 

Under the CAF

La Poderosa Nueva Línea, or “The Powerful New Line” was led by Gustavo Germán Ayala, alias “El Tavo” or “El Patachín”. El Lobo was the second-in-command for El Tavo, meanwhile, Boca de Bagre became the head of hitmen for the group. 

El Lobo was briefly detained in early February 10, 2019 in Mexicali when he was found to be in possession of 460 grams of meth, purely through happenstance as he was noticed by officers nearby. Charges seem to have been dropped as Lobo was known to continue operating freely shortly following his arrest. 

Boca de Bagre was arrested on May 22, 2019 by state police in the Sanchez Taboada delegation, in Tijuana city. Boca was arrested in possession of two long barrel firearms, one short barrel firearm, ammo and seven wrappers with over two kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride. 

His powerful cartel connections evidently used their government influence to ensure that despite Boca de Bagre being the leader of hitmen for a major cartel force, there would be no charges of organized crime activity, homicide or major drug trafficking brought against him. On June 1, 2019, Boca was indicted only for firearms possession and drug possession.

Then on January 22, 2020, Flaquito’s CAF group perpetrated one of their most bold and risky attacks in their entire history when they sent hitmen to shoot up six elite state police officers from the State Security and Investigation Guard (GESI) while they were grabbing food at a local hot dog stand. 

One GESI officer, Marco Antonio Reyes Nahon, and the civilian hotdog stand vendor Jesús Héctor Cabrera Mendoza were killed in the incident. 

In a truly insightful peek into the Tijuana government’s relationship with cartel leaders, Zeta Tijuana writes in a March 2020 article that “Through various channels, El Flaquito sent messages to officials who were a part of the Security Coordination Table in Baja California to avoid repercussions against him: that he had not done it, that he had not ordered it.” 

It should also be noted that is was around this time in 2020, that rumors began popping up in Tijuana that El Flaquito's specific CAF group was now working on behalf of the interest of Sinaloa Cartel's (CDS) Los Chapitos, according to many Zeta Tijuana articles.

However, despite his denied involvement, overtime news publications have made clear that the organizer of the attacks was in fact a CAF operator under El Flaquito. The evidence of the GESI attacks implicates José Cristian Gómez Rosales, alias “El Pitey” as the organizer of the attacks. Of note, El Pitey belonged to La Poderosa Nueva Línea and reported to El Lobo at the same that Boca de Bagre did. 

The Controversial Attack

Piety was reportedly furious that on January 6, 2020, two of his financial operators named Daniel Aurelio González García, alias “Dani” and Edgar Castillo Cabrera, alias “Rocky” were arrested. Then later that very same day, officers arrested two of El Pitey’s drug vendors Alexis Maldonado López and Pablo Ramos López. As retribution for daring to arrest his men, Pitey organized for a hit on a group of GESI officers. 

On January 22, 2020, the GESI elements had stationed their patrol vehicle as a shield to protect the place where they ate. They had already finished and five of them were turning to go back to their vehicles while Officer Marco Antonio Reyes Nahon paid the hot dog vendor, when a Honda Pilot SUV without license plates approached their location at full speed. 

The first burst of the CAF hitmen’s bullets hit the patrol cars, so the officers had a second to try to protect themselves, throwing themselves to the ground. But the bullets were heavy caliber and they went straight through the police units and hit the officers regardless of them taking cover.

Officer Jorge Alberto Velázquez Ornelas received chest and shoulder gunshot wounds. Officer José Manuel Camacho Vázquez received a gunshot wound on the leg. Officer Rogelio Estrada Pérez received the same on the leg and Officer Rubén Moreno Germán received two gunshot wounds, one on each leg. 

As at the time of the attack, Officer Marco Antonio Reyes Nahon had his back to the CAF attackers, as  he was handing over money to the hot dog vendor, sohe did not have the same opportunity to take cover as his colleagues. 

El Pietey’s sicarios hit Officer Reyesin the head, which immediately caused a severe head injury that resulted in brain death, despite the efforts of a later medically induced coma’s attempt to save his life.

The Turning Point

A huge crackdown came down upon El Flaquito’s CAF group as a result. Boca de Bagre’s La Poderosa Nueva Línea group suffered especially as the law enforcement repercussions were felt the greatest in the Sanchez Taboada neighborhood, which was the stronghold of La Poderosa Nueva Línea. 

The large-scale incursion by the state authorities into the Sanchez Taboada neighborhood, making drug retail operations more difficult, created major internal strife within La Poderosa Nueva Línea. El Pitey was reportedly close with El Lobo and eventually Boca de Bagre accused El Lobo of either orchestrating or approving El Pitey’s planned attack on the GESI officer, needlessly bringing down heat on their group. 

Then, El Lobo was arrested on March 28, 2020. This was unlike Lobo’s previous arrest in February 2019, when the arrest was due to happenstance, this was a planned joint agency operation specifically meant to target El Lobo. 

The operation took place in the early hours of the morning in the Torre Levant Diamante housing complex in the city of Querétaro. He was arrested alongside his girlfriend and two minors (that are likely his children) were taken into custody. A 9 millimeter pistol, methamphetamines and a BMW with Mexico City license plates were seized, which were presented along with the detainees to the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office. 

This arrest was the final straw that broke Boca de Bagre’s allegiance to the CAF and La Poderosa Nueva Línea. Boca believed El Lobo had approved the attack in a move that was so risky that it cost Lobo his law enforcement protection, leading to his arrest. 

Under CJNG Then CDS

Boca left the group and joined back up with the CJNG, this time under a group led by Gonzalo Alonzo Ramos Ramírez, alias "El Gonzalito". El Gonzalito is actually the nephew in law of the aforementioned CJNG boss El Gallero, whose drug addiction drove him to madness and was “disappeared” in Jalisco. 

There are few details about his time under Gonzalito and it only lasted a few months as Boca was arrested in November 2020 in Mexicali, but later quietly released. 

After being released, Boca left the CJNG and joined up with the infamous Sinaloa Cartel (CDS) Arzate brother, René Arzate García, alias "La Rana", and Alfredo Arzate González, alias "El Aquiles". 

Now on October 3, 2021, law enforcement has announced the arrest of Felipe Avitia Sarellana “Boca de Bagre” , saying he was found to be in possession of firearms in the vicinity of the Primo Tapia Ejido, in Rosarito, Baja California. 

He was captured along with five other La Rana/ Aquiles operatives and authorities seized a total of four long barrel firearms, two short barrel firearms,  two packages weighing approximately 915 grams of what appears to be methamphetamine, multiple identifications. An additional two vehicles were seized from the group of 6 Arzate cartel members, most of whom originated from the state of Sinaloa.

Update 10/6/2021: Added clarifying sentence "It should also be noted that is was around this time in 2020, that rumors began popping up in Tijuana that El Flaquito's specific CAF group was now working on behalf of the interest of Sinaloa Cartel's (CDS) Los Chapitos, according to many Zeta Tijuana articles."

Sources: Zeta Tijuana, Punto Norte, El Imparcial Article 1, Article 2, La Opinión, Conexion Migrante

Background Zeta Articles: Zeta Article 1, Zeta Article 2, Zeta Article 3, Zeta Article 4, Zeta Article 5, Zeta Article 6 

Additional Photo Credit: Calvarie Locus


  1. This guy BOCA, was a big time grasshopper, he managed to change into 3 different cartels.
    I am sure he will be let out of jail soon, as he has connections with curupt government officials.

  2. Those Tijuana cartel guys are chapulines to the bone..
    Specially those Cabos click

    1. 5:17 the companies I worked for weren't killing my "friends" and they weren't at war. Lol
      You can't compare the two

  3. This cartels makes italian and russian mafias looks like kids from the hood

    1. Well the Italians and Russians dont care because they make more money.

    2. I doubt they make more money but it pays more to be an Italian or Russian capo than to be a Mexican capo on the long run.
      The DEA work directly with the mexican capo and make them big. The moment a mexican capo gets power they go after them.
      Just look at chapo..
      Mayo has a big price on his head.
      Mencho and Caro are also wanted and it's only a matter of time that they get captured or killed.
      There are hundreds of mexican bosses locked up in America but it's just a big show because the drugs are never going to stop flowing. The capos just keep getting replaced.
      The Russian mafia capo are untouched because the DEA is not allowed in Russia. The U.S doesn't go snooping around because if they get caught Russians will put them in prison for espionage and there is nothing the U.S would be able to do.
      On the other hand there are hundreds of American agents running around Mexico. The last time chapo got captured there were at least 2 American agents in the operation

    3. Mexico pend 1
      That's not true.
      You got it all wrong.
      DEA is all over.
      Fake news.

    4. 4:13 just like they are not allowed in China.
      Tell me the last capo the DEA caught in Russia or China?
      I won't hold my breath lol

    5. 4:13 the russians and the chinese are not street banging thugs, they got big and small US Government officers in their pockets.
      Mexican criminals are just US tools of ahtessionncarrying on with a "soft Coup d' etat" to destabilize México for the next bunch of businessmen master wannabes that want to own Mexico and the mexicans for their slavery for free.

    6. Yea the chinese are smart mfs

  4. This guy will have a couple targets on his head if he remains inside a jail.
    Very detailed and informative article. Great job HEARST.

    1. 1:11 le anda buscando tres pies al gato y se va a topper con el burro de 5 patas por andar ahi de caliente...

  5. These so called cartels have no honor to the groups they jump from group to group no loyalty

  6. el bato va acabando con los carteles mejor dejenlo libre para que le siga su trabajo 😆

  7. Do we need water ?

    1. Go buy 4 24packs they are on sale at Calimax the Nestle type water

  8. I don’t know about you, but I put a big value on loyalty, these guys jump ship and move about like contractors. Not for me. Thick or thin stay loyal to your employer. It says a lot about someone, loyalty.

    1. He jumped ship on the 1st cartel, because it's it' members where killing thier own members. Not that I am defending this killer.

  9. I just heard a corrido from Enigmas Nortenos that say El Flaquito from TJ is Sinaloa Cartel. And Groupo Codiciado got one dedicated to him that says he reports to El Chapo and Mayo. So us he CAF or Sinaloa?

    1. Hello. El Flaquito is CAF but his specific CAF group has been aligned/working under Sinaloa Cartel Los Chapitos for a few years now.

      I have discussed this before in previous stories but I maybe should have mentioned this in this story too, I will update it to clarify this.

      Thanks for the question as always.

    2. Oh okay thanks very much Hearst for clarifying it. And appreciate your work very much read this site religiously

    3. @10:59. El flaco es CAF. He is the line for chapos to cross. Just like el chapo leal was for beltran. Sinaloa corridos like to make corridos for cds like they call the shots. Miguel comando also made a corrido called “para el flaco” there it explains that flaco has backing of chapos but he is still 💯 percent CAF the real owner of Baja California.

    4. I got you makes plenty of sense I know TJ is a border city every cartel wants

    5. There is two sinaloa cells fighting each other. Cds is not a solid cartel anymore.

  10. Tijuana es la plaza de mi cuh el flaco 100 % CAF pero con arreglos una parte de Sinaloa tiene luz verda para usar su corredor

  11. FUCK you , dirty puta ! You don't know shit


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