Friday, June 14, 2024

Sinaloa Cartel ‘lieutenant’ known as ‘El 50’ arrested in Sonora

An alleged Sinaloa Cartel leader known as “El 50” was arrested in Nogales, Sonora, on Friday during a federal operation supported by an armed helicopter.

Close to 200 soldiers and members of the National Guard participated in the operation to detain Gilberto Martínez Rentería in the northern border city, according to reports.

Sinaloa Cartel chart OFAC
In this chart published in 2021, the man identified as 36-year-old Martínez Rentería appears much older than the suspect apprehended on Friday. (OFAC)

Martínez — identified by U.S. authorities in 2021 as a “cartel lieutenant” who reports to “Sinaloa Cartel plaza boss” Sergio Valenzuela — was subsequently transferred to Mexico City, where he is in the custody of the federal Attorney General’s Office.

In September of 2021, he was designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as a narcotics trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act.

Media outlets in Sonora reported that Martínez is the main generator of violence in Nogales, located opposite the city of the same name in Arizona. In addition to drug trafficking, he is linked to crimes including murder, kidnapping and extortion.

In Nogales, Martínez allegedly led a cartel cell known as “Los Demonios” that works for Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, the top leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.

According to U.S. authorities, Martínez was born on May 14, 1987, meaning that he is 36.

A purported photo of the accused criminal published by OFAC appears to show a significantly older man, whereas the suspect appears much younger in new footage broadcast by Foro TV after his arrest.

With reports from Aristegui Noticias and El Universal 

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