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Jalisco cartel boss arrested in Zapopan

August 8, 2012

Federal police arrested a suspected leading member of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) in Zapopan on Monday.

Eliot Alberto Radillo Peza, also known as “El Pancho,” was captured in a dawn raid on his home, Rinconada del Pino 45, in a gated community just off Avenida Guadalaupe.

Federal police officers arrived at the residence on foot around 6 a.m., with armored “rhinoceros” vehicles arriving shortly afterwards, while a Black Hawk helicopter circled overhead.

The operation lasted 40 minutes and the convoy was later seen heading toward the Guadalajara airport. No casualties were reported, although neighbors complained the police damaged three security cameras and four electronic barriers.

The alleged leader of CJNG operations in the metropolitan area, Radillo, 30, stands accused of the kidnapp and murder of civilians and members of rival gangs. He is also linked with the deaths of 12 to 15 police officers, said Ramon Eduardo Garcia Pequeño, head of the Federal Police Narcotics Division, at a press conference on Monday afternoon.

Radillo was arrested alongside 36-year-old Juan Carlos Salazar de la Cruz, alias “Charly,” from Guadalajara, Eduardo revealed. During the raid, police seized two rifles, a hand grenade, ammunition, a vehicle, communications equipment, a laptop and a package containing what appeared to be crystal meth.

“The suspects and all the property seized were turned over to federal prosecutors, who will conduct the investigation and determine their legal status,” Eduardo said.

According to the authorities, Radillo started out as a drug distributor for the Milenio cartel in 2009. He later joined the CJNG, reporting directly to Jose Angel Carrasco Coronel, the nephew of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, who ran Sinaloa Cartel operations in Guadalajara until he was killed in a shootout with federal police in July 2010.

A faction of the Sinaloa Cartel created after Coronel’s death, the CJNG has since become locked in a turf war with rival offshoot La Resistencia, with both gangs vying for control of the Guadalajara “plaza.”

Twelve high-ranking members of the CJNG have now been arrested since July 2011, Eduardo added.

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