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

Thursday, October 7, 2021

La Línea's "El 18" Arrested In Major Operation Targeting Perpetrators Of LeBarón Massacre

"HEARST" for Borderland Beat

Attorney General's Office (FGR) agents apprehended Uriel Lorenzo Valle Domínguez, alias "El 18", alleged member of the criminal group La Línea in Chihuahua. El 18 has been implicated in the attack on the LeBarón family.

On October 6, 2021, the FGR released a joint statement announcing the apprehension of a person allegedly involved in organized crime. It read in part as follows: 

“The Inter-Institutional Group for the Bavispe case, made up of personnel from the Attorney General's Office (FGR), with support of the Mexican Army and Air Force, the National Guard (GN) and the National Intelligence Center (CNI), completed an arrest warrant against a person likely to be a member of a criminal group.

This October 6, 2021, in the municipality of Chihuahua, Chihuahua, the arrest of Uriel ‘V’ was achieved, who had an arrest warrant for his probable responsibility for the crime of organized crime.

The detainee was transferred by air to the International Airport of Toluca de Lerdo, State of Mexico, to be presented to the competent authorities at the Federal Center for Social Readaptation No. 1 ‘El Altiplano’, in Almoloya de Juárez, in that state.”

The press release is scant on details but still caused major headlines as the “Bavispe case” being referenced is the LeBarón massacre, an incident where  three women and six children who were American Mexican "independent Mormons" were killed on November 4, 2019 in Bavispe municipality of the state of Sonora. 

The man who was arrested “Uriel ‘V’ ” is Uriel Lorenzo Valle Domínguez, alias “El 18”, a prominent cartel member of the group La Línea , the newest form of the original Juárez Cartel (Cártel de Juárez, CDJ, or sometimes called the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Organization). He is believed to be the plaza boss of the Nuevo Casas Grande municipality of the state of Chihuahua on behalf of La Linea.

El 18 likely took over this position as the Nueva Casas plaza boss after the November 2020 arrest of the previous plaza boss Roberto González Montes, alias “El 32”. Much like El 18, EL 32 was arrested due to his alleged involvement in the LeBarón massacre.

Frustratingly few further details are available on the way in which El 18’s arrest occurred. El Financiero is reporting that his arrest occurred in the early morning hours of approximately 4:00am. They also alleged that El 18 was resting in a safe house during the time of the law enforcement raid that led to his arrest. 

As detailed in the press release, El 18 was captured in Chihuahua city in the municipality of Chihuahua, in Chihuahua state. He was immediately flown out of his cartel’s native state (Chihuahua), as is common with any high profile arrest due to concern over cartel members attacking detention facilities in order to free a major cartel leader who is in custody.

Although El 18 was arrested by the joint task force created for the LeBarón massacre, El 18 will be brought before a judge not for any crime related to that event but purely for charges related to organized crime for now. However it can be expected that additional charges related to the massacre will be added later and this organized crime charge is purely meant to ensure El 18 remains in custody. 

Previous Attempt to Capture El 18

On September 13, 2021, the same joint task force tried to arrest El 18 in the early morning hours in the city of Nuevo Casas Grandes in the municipality of Nuevo Casas Grandes, El 18’s home plaza.

There was a major shootout between authorities and El 18’s bodyguards on Benito Juárez Avenue and Durango Street, in the Nogalera neighborhood which left one SEDENA soldier dead, five injured and two cartel members arrested. This event was covered in detail in two articles by Sol here and here

During mid-September this shooting was reported as SEDENA soldiers “carrying out intelligence work and when they were preparing to search a vehicle, they were attacked.” El Financiero and El Heraldo de Chihuahua are currently reporting that this event was in fact an attempt to capture El 18 by the task force

LeBarón Massacre

Adrián LeBarón, of the same LeBarón family who was killed, tweeted out yesterday “They arrested Uriel Valle Domínguez, 'El 18', allegedly involved in the massacre of my daughter, grandchildren and other family. It looks like it will be consigned for organized crime. I ask to be present at the initial hearing, I need it!"

As previously covered by MX, on November 4, 2019, in an area of ​​the Sierra Madre Occidental in the municipality of Bavispe, Sonora, members of La Línea fired from a van at the 3 vehicles where three women and 14 minors were traveling.

There were 9 fatalities: Rhonita Maria Miller, 30; Christina Marie Langford Johnson, 29; Dawna Ray Langford, 43; as well as 12-year-old Howard Jacob; Trevor Harvey, 11; 10-year-old Krystal Bellaine; 2-year-old Rogan; and Titus Alvin and Tiana Gricel, both barely 8 months old. At least seven children were injured.

Initial versions of the case reported that the massacre occurred due to a confusion. However, part of that hypothesis has been ruled out because those who were traveling in the vans told the attackers that only women and children were present.

The November 2019 massacre triggered an extensive manhunt against members of La Linea. According to Mexico's Attorney General's Office (FGR), over 20 people have been arrested for the massacre. 

In February 2020, a federal judge charged Wilbert Mendoza Lopez, alias 'La Parka', for his direct participation in the massacre. The FGR already has two other main suspects in custody: Jose Alfredo Lara Ontiveros, alias 'El Coma Lara' and/or 'Pelonete'; and Roberto Gonzalez Montes, alias 'El 32' and/or 'El Mudo'.

In March, authorities also arrested Alejandro Escarcega Adame, alias 'El Tocayo', 'El Loco', and/or 'El 15'. The following month, they arrested Candelario Santos Jiménezm, alias 'Coma Santos', a high-ranking member of La Linea implicated in the massacre. And then most recently in June 2021, Freddy Calles Romero alias “El Tolteca” was arrested in connection to the case. For further details on his arrest, please see this previous story by MX.

Sources: Official Press Release, El Diario de Chihuahua, El Diario de Juárez, El Heraldo de Chihuahua Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4, Proceso, Milenio, El Financiero, MVS Noticias, La Silla Rota, Aristegui Noticias 

Further Reading:

La Línea Unleashes Gunfire On The Military

Prosecutor's Office Investigates Homicide Of Military Officer

Arrest of El Tolteca


Notable Figures: La Linea Part I

Notable Figures: Part II


  1. Note El Chino's comment on Sol's second story covering the September shooting.

    The streets talk even when the official narrative tries to hide the real target. Locals still know.

    1. Hey hearst girl! Do you have any updates on "El G3"? I was told he was released by some friends from over there and I also found a comment in a YouTube video stating the same thing but this is all just street rumors. I doubt these rumors could be true because of his supposedly involvement in the LeBaron massacre but also it seems for every high ranking Liniero they capture they associate him with the Lebaron massacre and also in mexico if you have money anything is possible

    2. I was just thinking about G3 this morning actually. I am not sure if he's been released, sorry. You're supposed to give me those details, haha.

      But did you hear about G3's friend that was arrested alongside him? Yuriel Armando González Lara, he was the PRI candidate for mayor of Nuevo Casas Grandes, found executed in March of this year. Interesting stuff.

      And I definitely feel like they tack on "LeBaron Massacre" to people with little connection. I personally think the taskforce should be disbanded at this point and it only keeps going because Adrián is so good at keeping the media cycle going.

    3. I didn't know Yuriel Armando was killed, he was released for unknown reasons. The other guy "El Puentes" that was arrested with them did pick up charges as will.
      I also do think the investigation is being dragged out Amlo has pointed out that almost all the responsibles have been captured but Adrian said there's atleast 100 people involved but from what I see they are capturing plaza bosses that are only tasked too operate in their plazas, if not tensions grow and that happened with El Cabo and his brothers they started taking their own orders

  2. Excellent 👍, criminals think they will never get caught, after burning both vans. Not very smart.

  3. Animo Sicarios!
    I remember when some wanted to blame Gente Nueva. I said it from the start ! Gente Nueva Special Forces Tier 1 Operators only eliminate enemy targets NEVER innocent civilians, Ordenes de los Patrones.



      Read that carefully

    2. Where was the massacre orchestrated??

    3. Linea has never been interested in intruding Sonora they dnt need to Chihuahua has Sierra and border to the US and big cities to sell product LeBaron was all plot by Paderes GN to take Madera for Jaguares GN

    4. Paredes had nothing to so with it at all. Pull your head out.

    5. Massacre happened in Paredes territory

  4. Nice post! I was actually planning on going to Nuevo Casas Grandes this weekend or next to check out the town (I’m near the area). Guess I’ll pass? 😅


Comments are moderated, refer to policy for more information.
Envía fotos, vídeos, notas, enlaces o información
Todo 100% Anónimo;