Zetas drug cartel leader captured in Mexico

Patrol vehicle searches for drug smugglers near the Rio Grande at the U.S.-Mexico border. Credit: Getty Images
A patrol searches for drug smugglers near the Rio Grande at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Credit: Getty Images

One of Mexico’s most brutal drug lords, Zetas cartel chief Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, has been captured by Mexican marines in a raid near the U.S. border.

The notorious cartel leader was apprehended in a dramatic dawn raid Monday outside his hometown of Nuevo Laredo on the Mexican-Texan border.

A Marine helicopter intercepted a pickup truck carrying Treviño Morales, a bodyguard and accountant, before bringing them into custody. Inside the vehicle authorities found $2 million in cash, eight weapons and 500 rounds of ammunition, government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez Hernandez told reporters.

Treviño Morales, known for burning people alive in oil barrels in his clan’s infamous “stews,” was a wanted man on both sides of the border. In Mexico he has now charged with orchestrating the abduction and slaughter of 265 migrants believed to be heading to the U.S. to work; he was indicted on drug trafficking and weapons charges in New York in 2009 and Washington in 2010.

The capture of “Z-40″ is the highest-profile arrest since Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto came to office last December.

He campaigned on promises to decrease levels of homicide, extortion and kidnapping through local law enforcement rather than specifically targeting big-name suspects.

“This is a big hit,” former U.S. ambassador Tony Garza told The Dallas Morning News. “You can’t underestimate the signal it sends to the Zetas, and to those within other organizations that have chosen to resort to what can only be called ‘narco-terrorism.’”

The seizure of Treviño Morales comes nine months after Mexican security forces said they killed Heriberto Lazcano, the then leader of the Zetas, and captured other high-ranking cartel members.

Who is Treviño Morales?

Treviño Morales started his career as a teenager washing cars for the Los Tejas gang, based in his home town of Nuevo Laredo, but soon graduated to cross-border drug-running. In the mid-1990s, he was recruited into the Gulf cartel, which absorbed Los Tejas when it took over drug dealing in the region. It was there where he gained notoriety for brutal murders – his preferred technique being the “guiso,” or stew, in which enemies would be placed in 55-gallon drums and burned alive.

Treviño Morales sided with the Zetas, a group of Mexican special forces deserters who defected to work as hit men and bodyguards for the Gulf cartel, which split from the Gulf in 2007. He rose to the top of the Zetas in 2012 after its leader Heriberto Lazcano died in a shootout with Mexican marines.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…