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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Who Is The Mystery Detainee? SEDENA Says Don Carlos

"HEARST", "Sol Prendido", and "Itzli" for Borderland Beat

The mystery CJNG leadership detainee from the Puerto Vallarta operation has been identified by the Army (SEDENA) as Carlos ‘N’, alias “Don Carlos”.

Quick Review - The Post-Arrest Silence

As previously reported by Borderland Beat, on Thursday, January 20, 2022, a member of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generation (Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación, CJNG) was arrested in a large military operation that took place in the Marina Vallarta subdivision of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. 

Throughout the following day, a few new details trickled out, with the new information summarized here. However the identity of the individual arrested still remained officially unreported. Multiple news outlets such as Vanguardia, Politico.MX, Infobae, and Vallarta Daily all reported that the detainee was unofficially believed to be “El Fresa”, a known CJNG lieutenant. 

El Fresa, whose actual name is unknown, is an established CJNG figure, who has been covered by previous news reports.

As previously reported on Borderland Beat by Sol, following the damage caused by Hurricane Pamela, food donations were given out in November 2021 to families in Tuxpan municipality, in the state of Nayarit by hitmen from the CJNG. The packages were labeled, as translated by Sol Prendido: 

 “CJNG: Plaza Bahía de Banderas on behalf of Mr. Strawberry and his Entourage”. 

He is believed to report under Audias Flores Silva, alias “El Jardinero”. El Fresa allegedly acts as the regional CJNG leader for the state of Nayarit, which is just one of the regions that El Jardinero is believed to control.

There are currently no known photos purported to depict El Fresa that are presented by credible sources.

El Quintana Roo and Valor por Tamaulipas reported that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador would divulge new information about the Puerto Vallarta arrest during his morning press conference on Friday, January 21, 2022. However the event was not brought up during the press conference. 

Don Carlos

On Friday evening, the Attorney General's Office officially released the identity of the detainee, which is Carlos ‘N’, alias “Don Carlos”. In the absence of additional information it remains unclear if this is a previously unknown CJNG member or if he has an established criminal history just under a different alias.

Photo of Don Carlos that was released by SEDENA.

According to the official statement, Don Carlos worked directly under Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias "El Mencho", the overall leader of the CJNG. The statement continues on and says that Don Carlos was in charge of securing weapons and armored vehicles for the CJNG in Puerto Vallarta and central Jalisco. 

It continues and says that Don Carlos is a regional leader within the CJNG who controls the remote mountain regions of Jalisco and he controls various logistics, such as methamphetamine and marijuana production, distribution, transportation and sales, as well as being involved in the training of new hitmen.

The Mexican Secretary of Defense said that Don Carlos was arrested following months of investigation that was conducted in conjunction with the National Intelligence Center (Centro Nacional de Inteligencia).

Preliminary Analysis

We know that a large amount of military personnel and equipment was used in the operation. According to the official press release, 150 Army (SEDENA) soldiers and 2 military helicopters were involved in the operation. 

In any military operation involving helicopters, the specific conditions of a potential landing zone are considered during the planning of an operation. Non-ideal conditions are a risk to the operation likelihood of success, as well as a risk to the safety of the soldiers involved. This risk level is often weighed against the potential benefit or perceived importance of the operation’s objective. 

In the Puerto Vallarta operation, the landing zone used by one of the military helicopters in order to exfiltrate the detainee was a small section of a golf course, which was located next to the property targeted by the raid. This landing zone, as seen in the video below, is non-ideal and relatively small. 

The military’s risk-assessment of this landing zone is likely also affected by the knowledge that CJNG has an established record of having both the logistical and the technological capabilities to destroy a military helicopter, as evidenced by the takedown of a Mexican Air Force Cougar EC725 by CJNG members on May 1, 2015, making the landing zone conditions an even higher level of risk. 

Taking into account the amount of personnel and equipment that we know was used in the operation, as well as the level of risk military commanders deemed acceptable within the operation, it stands to reason that the target of the raid was considered high priority.

Considering the lack of media coverage Carlos ‘N’, alias “Don Carlos” had prior to the Puerto Vallarta raid, there seem to be the following possibilities: 

  1. Don Carlos was the intended target of the raid. Despite not being well known to the public, Don Carlos was a big player behind-the-scenes and he is actually an integral part of the CJNG organization. His capture was a major hit to the functioning of the CJNG.

  1. Don Carlos was the intended target of the raid, but not for his significant role within the organization but instead Don Carlos has information on something related to the CJNG that the military considered to be highly valuable. 

  1. Don Carlos was the intended target of the raid, he does not have a significant role within the CJNG however the ultimate objective of the raid was to have a large news story that visibly demonstrates the Mexican federal government is actively targeting members of organized crime. 

  1. Don Carlos was the intended target of the raid, but the overall objective was to observe, through pre-established surveillance, how certain information flows within the CJNG in the immediate aftermath of the raid. By observing the communication within the CJNG during the hours after the arrest, some highly valuable information was obtained, such as the current location of a real high value target. 

  1. Don Carlos was not the intended target of the raid. The raid aimed to capture a higher-value target  (which is not limited to just Mencho, there are many other high ranking CJNG members to consider) however the targeted person escaped before the soldiers arrived.

  1. Don Carlos was not the intended target of the raid. The raid aimed to capture a higher-value target however the information the military/FGR acted on was bad intelligence and the target was not recently in the area.

  1. Don Carlos was not the intended target of the raid. Another person was captured during the raid however there were a series of behind-the-scenes negotiations between the CJNG and the government so that the detainee was secretly released and Don Carlos was given instead, as the fall guy, in order to satisfy the public’s interest. 


  1. Keeping low profile is the key for success

  2. That property belongs to La FIRMA. Not far fromcthere he has another property that has multiple hectares attached to it with a beautiful Ranch home.
    There was an article from a local Jalisco jpurnalists where it talked about a total of 5 arrested but immediately took it down and removed any article related to it
    Word on th streets of Jalisco is La Firma was holding a meeting with other high profile leaders in Puerto Vallarta and Jalisco when the Govt showed up. Most managing to escape
    According to this journalist he said La Firma was one of the men detained but was released mysteriously.. hmmm

    1. Dang, That colombian dude has some pull

    2. Let the thensnitch season began lol all this people are turning against each other because they are literally trash everything change in Mexico en Jalisco after nacho Coronel death can’t compare this fools with old school dudes like Leonardo Lopez aka el negro o Senor de las lanchas huh lol what about Fernando Gurrola , el piojo , changel , el Gallo , el pollito 🐥 lol bet y’all don’t even know who I’m talking bout this names will never be forgotten and valkarta wil never ve the same sad I actually lived in that street haven’t been back since 10

    3. 9:09 all those guys together never had as much power or pull like mencho. Hate it or love it but he is in a diferent level. He makes all those guys you mentioned look like amqtures lol

  3. Hey readers, out of the seven possibilities I listed at the end, which one do you think is the most likely?

    1. Hearsty love your sparkling humor 😃

    2. Hearst I love the smell of your hair, the smell of strawberry.

    3. I like the twinkle in here eyes.

  4. I'd say #3 is the reason for this operation.

  5. If say it’s either #2 or #4. The first reason is that perhaps they can get this Don Carlos to flip on Jardinero and so on up the chain. This strategy, of taking out the local leaders before the major players, would also reduce the violence that would result from hyperfragmentation associated with the arrest of a leader like Mencho. Arrest everyone around him and then not only is arresting him easier, but it lowers the post arrest conflict risk.

  6. I think I have read or heard of a Don Carlos before. I may be confusing him with the guy who had the prison party and was murdered after his release. Don Chelo.

  7. Like the LSAT Exam.

    Canadian girl 💋

  8. #4, Intel. Intel catches the big 🐕 🐕 🐕

  9. I think they were looking for gargamal and popa smurf….smh!

  10. Y’all understand mencho will never be captured this is why all these people work and are for to throw them under the buss mencho will be harder than chapo Becuase he controls the government and probably has direct line with AMLO or somkne close to him this is to fool the dea and all the gringos

    1. Are you stupid or something? Chapo had All the Government under his thumb... It was Mayo that gavem up. But do your homework... Mayos the untouchable one... He has a bounty of 20 mil on his head. But no one's even looking for him

    2. And Mencho will be gone by next year. I got a question who's gonna take his place if he gets caught? I wouldn't doubt that whole organization fragments


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