The Mexican navy has arrested a suspected Zetas cartel leader accused of involvement in some of the country's most notorious crimes in recent years, authorities say.

Jose Luis Vergara, navy spokesman, announced on Monday that Salvador Alfonso Martinez Escobedo was arrested Saturday and is believed to have masterminded the massacre of 72 migrants in the northern state of Tamaulipas in 2010.

The man known as "Squirrel'' also has been linked to the escape of 151 prisoners in 2010 from a jail in the city of Nuevo Laredo, the recent flight of 131 prisoners in the city of Piedras Negras and the killing of US citizen David Hartley in 2010 on Falcon Lake, which straddles the U.S.-Mexico border.

The death of Hartley drew wide attention as it appeared Hartley and his wife were on a personal trip when he was shot by Mexican criminals on September 30, 2010.

The navy is also blaming Martinez for the killing of the Tamaulipas state police commander and chief investigator on the case, an attack that hampered the investigation.

Vergara said Martinez was captured in Nuevo Laredo, across from Laredo, Texas. He was shown to the news media Monday.

Source: Agencies