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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Caborca Cartel's El Neri Arrested in Guaymas, Sonora

"HEARST" for Borderland Beat 

Caborca Cartel’s El Neri, who works as a head of hitmen for the subgroup La Plaza, was arrested in Guaymas. Sonora Public Security put out a statement about his arrest which may imply he was involved in a recent series of bar attacks in the tourist destination of San Carlos, Sonora.  

The Arrest of La Plaza’s El Neri

On Sunday, July 3, 2022, federal Attorney General's Office (FGR) agents and Navy (SEMAR) soldiers raided  multiple homes within the Punta de Arena neighborhood, of the city of Guaymas, in the state of Sonora. 

The agents and soldiers successfully managed to arrest José Neri Ramírez Salaice, alias “El Neri”, a new head of hitmen from the Caborca Cartel subgroup La Plaza. 

Shortly after his arrest, a MARINA helicopter was observed flying over Guaymas, as seen in videos like the one below. Whether it was used for overhead observation or if it was being used to airlift the detainee out after he was captured is unclear. It is known that El Neri was promptly sent to the closest FGR office once he was captured. 

Video Source: Sonora Informativo

According to law enforcement sources referenced in news articles, the current charge that El Neri is being brought in for is merely illegal firearm possession. 

They also allege that El Neri is the successor to previous La Plaza head of hitmen Juan Carlos Real Nieblas, alias “El Mocho”, who was killed in Rosarito, Baja California on May 20, 2022. For more details on El Mocho’s death and his role within La Plaza (that El Neri allegedly took over) please see this previous story

If these claims are true, then it's likely that El Neri works as a direct report to Francisco Javier Espinoza Camacho, aliases “El Picipi” and “El Fino”, the overall leader of La Plaza, who in turn reports to Caborca Cartel leadership figures Juan Pablo Quintero and Tony Navidad. 

It is worth noting that both prominent rumors surrounding El Mocho’s death allege that his execution was internally orchestrated, either by El Picipi or by a rival head of hitmen Antonio Castro Valenzuela, alias “El Castro”. Whether El Mocho chose El Neri as his successor or if El Neri was appointed by someone like El Picipi is unknown at this time, 

Sonora Public Security put out the following official statement about the arrest of El Neri on July 4, 2022, at approximately 5:00 pm: 

“SSP reports the Secretary of the Navy yesterday carried out an operation in #Guaymas that resulted in the arrest of one of the main generators of violence in the area, whose identity is being withheld due to ongoing investigations into the events in San Carlos and Guaymas in recent weeks. 

The person was placed at the disposal of the Attorney General's Office who will be providing further information.”

San Carlos Events Allegedly Involving El Neri

So what are these “events in San Carlos and Guaymas in recent weeks” that the state police are currently investigating El Neri for? 

First, it is worth noting that San Carlos is a very popular tourist destination. San Carlos is a coastal town known for its beaches, reefs and canyons that lies about 9 miles to the west of the city of Guaymas. Much like any popular tourist destination in Mexico such as Acapulco and Cancun, there are multiple competing cartel groups within it, all vying to control the drug sale points, especially at bars, and extort businesses that cater to tourists. 

Sonora’s state government states that the Sinaloa Cartel and the CJNG are the two groups in Guaymas competing for territory and causing violent incidents. So why do they say the CJNG is there when it's mainly just the Sinaloa Cartel and the Caborca Cartel subgroup La Plaza? Well, La Plaza does have heavy ties with the CJNG in its past and some suspect that the state government is still unwilling to officially acknowledge the Rafael-Caro-Quintero-led Caborca Cartel exists. Regardless, here are some recent events they may be investigating El Neri for. 

June 19, 2022

A shooting occurred at a bar in San Carlos called La Bartina 64. Hitmen had allegedly found and executed a man named César Octavio Enríquez.  Another was wounded from the gunfire. At least six others were wounded indirectly from injuries they suffered as a result of the bar rushing to escape the area when the shots started. 

César’s family chose to come forward and make his name publicly as well as asking the investigators to look further into the shooting because they insisted that he was an honest man and not involved in organized crime. 

June 23, 2022

Alfonso Durazo, the Governor of Sonora, told the press that the perpetrator of the La Bartina 64 shooting  had already been identified by law enforcement. Whether the identified perpetrator was El Neri or a man that is associated with El Neri is currently unknown. 

June 28, 2022

La Bartina 64, the same bar that previously experienced the shooting, went up in flames. By the time the fire was put out, the building had suffered heavy damage. Whether there is evidence of arson is still unclear at this time.  La Bartina 64 announced they would be remaining closed for the time being due to the two incidents. 

Later that week, the popular San Carlos restaurant-bar named Maukaa Beach Club decided to close its doors due to increased violence in the tourist destination.

July 01 2022

At approximately 10:00 pm at night, the San Carlos bar called “Hammerhead's” had a shooting occur in its parking lot. A groups of armed men located a man who was sitting in a white sedan vehicle and shot him to death. 

Videos of the customers inside Hammerhead's when the shooting occurred show them ducking down to avoid the shots. The footage shows couples hugging each other and lying on the floor under the tables. "There is a shooting," someone can be heard saying in the video. 

Video Source: Raúl Rodríguez

The Sonora Public Safety made an official statement acknowledging the attack, writing: "A few moments ago, a direct attack on a vehicle left one person dead in San Carlos. The police are at the scene and are taking charge of the scene," said the Sonora Public Safety Secretariat. 

Update 7/5/2022 at 5:30 pm: The name of the San Carlos club from the July 01 2022 incident has been corrected to Hammerhead's. Thank you to an anonymous commenter for the information.


  1. Good article HEARST very understandable.
    This one I want to take notes and see if El Neri will be convicted in Court and serve time in prison, currently I read the charge is weapons possession. And more to follow we all know if he is connected with curupt officials, he will be let out soon. All that effort to arrest him hope it pays back to lock him up.

    1. Hate to say it, after a bribe to currpt judge he will be out soon.

  2. CDS internal fighting but CDS denied ot for months.
    Greed and envy is always the drug dealers down fall..
    Sonora plaza os hot as an oven 🔥

    1. CDS internal fighting?? They are fight Caborca Cartel for the area

    2. Chapitos vs mayo and quintero

    3. Rusos are clicked up with Caborca then?

  3. Don't forget these:

    1. Great links. Thanks for this!

    2. No prob. BTW....the name of the bar is actually "Hammerhead's" (it's at the marina next to the Yacht Club). Some stories called it "Hummer". :-) La Bartina 64 had decent food. Maukaa....not so much. Also...Maukaa, one day after announcing they were closing for a week in protest of poor security....announced that they actually closed due to vandalism and they needed to do maintenance, they weren't protesting anything and would re-open. Then there was this the same day they picked up El Neri:

    3. You are correct, its Hammerhead's. Damn. Infobae wrote Hammer Heads and I took their word for it. This is why I have trust issues with them. I'll update my story now. Thanks for letting me know and thanks for all the great links.

    4. And it continues....

    5. Rumor has it that it was the owners of La Catrina Restaurant, just down the street.

  4. Saludos a los Marquez, fierro por La Atrevasada , animo raza que el camaron esta a todo vapor. 🤠


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