Friday, March 15, 2013

34 Drug Cartel Suspects, Including 17 Community Police Taken Into Custody In Michoacan

The suspects were heavily armed and openly patrolled a town in Michoacan.

By H. Nelson Goodson
March 14, 2013

Mexico City, Mexico - The Mexican federal Attorney General's Office (PGRF) announced that last Thursday, 34 drug cartel suspects, including 17 community security officers (CSO) and two teenagers were taken into custody by the military for having ties to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (JNGC). The PGRF says, a total of 47 weapons were confiscated, including 36 high power weapons that were distributed to the suspects and the group was financed by the JNGC.
The military also freed Otoniel Montes, the Municipal Public Safety director and five of his staff members who were taken into custody last week by the CSO. The CSO took over the police station and jailed Montes and his staff, accusing them of having ties with criminal organizations.
The JNGC is known to sponsor CSO units in Jalisco, Michoacan and Colima. The military has tolerated armed CSO's in the region who provide self-defense patrols to keep drug cartels and criminal organizations from their communities, but most are armed with machetes and low grade weapons compared to the high-powered weapons confiscated from the suspects taken into custody. 
Th JNGC is feuding with the Caballeros Templarios Cartel (CTC) in the region. A week ago, a narco message was posted by the CTC in the area alleging that the CSO's operating in Buenavista Tomatlán had ties to the JNGC.
Communities in the states of Guerrero and Michoacan have set up their own armed CSO's to provide security for their small towns. The CSO movement has been spreading to other communities in Mexico and the military is faced with determining, which CSO's are operating within the law and which ones are being financed by criminal organizations. Armed CSO's in Mexico are illegal to operate, but sometimes they're the only means to provide public safety in small and rural areas where the military is absent to provide security.
The suspects were charged for organized crime and possession of high power weapons exclusively reserved for the military. 
The weapons included, 12 -AK-47's, 6 -AR-15's, 1 - 9mm Uzi, 2 -Cal. 5.7- P90's, 2 -.22 Cal. long rifles, 2 -30 Cal. carbines, 11 shotguns and 15 handguns, 5 -9mm's, 2 -45 Cal., 6 -38 Cal. and one 5.7 Cal. handgun. Also confiscated by the military were several small bags of marijuana, 2,500 cartridges of various types of ammo, 106 magazines and two bullet proof vests.
The suspects were arrested in La Ruana, located in the municipality of Buenavista Tomatlàn, Michoacan. They were identified as,

- Jesús García Bejarano, 29, 
- Pedro Montes Zavala, 31, 
- Leobardo Ramírez Reyes, 49, who has a history of criminal convictions, 
- Pedro García Anguiano, 58, 
- Manuel Valencia Orozco, 
- Marcelo Valle del Toro, 31, 
- Edgar Iván Sánchez Tavera, 20, 
- Mario Gutiérrez Tinoco, 24, 
- Ismael Cisneros Vázquez, 22, 
- Juan Luis Hernández Chávez, 27, 
- Víctor Manuel Ibarra, 20, 
- Gustavo Mendoza Ortega, 32, 
- Julio César Santacruz Morales, 
- Ramiro Aguayo Ramírez, 
- José Ricardo Cervantes,  
- José Carlos Cerda, 19,
- Miguel Ángel Villalobos Sánchez, 20, 
- José Guadalupe Sánchez López, 25, who also has prior convictions,
- Pedro García Bejarano, 36, 
- Artemio Almazán Díaz, 
- José Alberto Ayala Chávez, 17,
- Gonzalo Alberto Ayala Bucio, 16, 
- Miguel Ángel Pimentel Martínez, 26, 
- José Carlos Vizcaíno Mendoza, 29, 
- Alfonso Pulido Figueroa, 31, also has prior convictions, 
- Víctor Manuel Moreno Mendoza, 
- Jesús Villa Ríos, 33, 
- Eduardo Chávez Godínez, 20, 
- José María Hernández, 48, 
- Julios César Estrada Gómez, 30, 
- Artemio Espinoza López, 31, 
- Adrián Eduardo Zamora Cortés, 19, 
- Daniel Mora Torres and 
- Ramón Quintana Chávez, 22. 

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