Federal police in Mexico have presented an alleged operations chief of the New Generation cartel who is suspected of overseeing extortion and drug trafficking activities for the drugs gang across various states.
A handcuffed Eliot Alberto Radillo, also known as “El Pancho”, appeared alongside masked police officers in front of the media on Monday after his detention with another alleged member, Juan Carlos Salazar.
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The arrests came after a dramatic police operation in the city of Zapopan in the Pacific state of Jalisco.
According to authorities, Radillo had worked his way up Jalisco’s New Generations cartel ranks to become operations chief, and is believed to report directly to the cartel’s kingpins.
“Eliot Alberto Radillo, also known as ‘El Pancho,’ was identified as an operations leader for the New Generation Jalisco Cartel,” said Anti-Drug Division Chief for Federal Police, Ramon Eduardo Pequeno.
“He was the boss of operative cells and was in charge of controlling drug distribution and extortion [activities] for the group as well as confronting rival gangs in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara.”
The suspect is facing a host of charges, including murder and extortion.
Police presented heavy assault rifles and ammunition reportedly seized from the suspects.
Since sending in the army nearly six years ago to crack down on cartel activity, Mexican President Felipe Calderon has made a point of targeting top drugs chiefs but at an increasingly bloody cost.
More than 55,000 people have been killed since soldiers were deployed across the country to stem the flow of drugs smuggling into the US.