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

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.