Federal security forces caught a senior lieutenant of the powerful Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) on Friday, the navy and Morelos Attorney General’s Office announced.
Francisco Rodríguez, known by the alias “El Señorón” (the big shot), was arrested in an operation by marines in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, outside a luxury apartment complex in the northwest of the city. He is thought to be a high-ranking member of the CJNG in Morelos.
In June, Rodríguez was identified as the leader of “Los Colombianos” (The Colombians), a criminal group of growing importance in Morelos, allied with the CJNG. Los Colombianos have been linked to homicide, kidnapping, extortion, money lending and drug trafficking. Its leader is believed to be one of the key people behind violence in the state.
Authorities offered a 500,000-peso (US $25,000) reward for information about Rodríguez in July.
Rodríguez is suspected of the murder of three doctors in April 2020, according to the Morelos Attorney General’s Office. An inter-state working group said security forces had an arrest warrant for murder, criminal association and generating violence in Morelos.
The navy said he controlled several synthetic drug laboratories, whose products were distributed in Cuernavaca, Jiutepec, Puente de Ixtla, Amacuzac, Emiliano Zapata, Cuautla, and Cocoyoc.
Morelos Governor Cuauhtémoc Blanco said a violent reaction to the arrest was expected from criminal groups in the state.
The head of CJNG, Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera, is one of the most wanted cartel leaders in the world. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has offered US $10 million for his arrest.
Late last year, security forces arrested his wife, Rosalinda González Valencia.