Mexico City – Soldiers seized communications equipment being used by drug traffickers in Reynosa, a border city in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, the army said.
The telecommunications gear was seized on Oct. 11 and Oct. 25 by army patrols, the 4th Military Region command said, without identifying the criminal organization operating the network.
A total of 21 antennas, 22 repeaters, 18 duplexers, eight filters and three transceivers were seized.
The telecom network was dismantled as part of the government's "Operation Northeast" targeting drug traffickers and other organized crime groups, the army said.
Marines dismantled an encrypted communications network last month being used by the Los Zetas drug cartel in 10 cities in the Gulf state of Veracruz.
The network employed 12 antennas, computers, radio transmitters, scanners, thousands of feet of cable, cell phones, decoders and solar panels.
The Gulf cartel and Los Zetas have been waging a brutal turf war in Tamaulipas that has left hundreds of people dead since last year.
The two drug trafficking organizations are trying to gain control of smuggling routes into the United States.
The Gulf cartel has a large presence in Reynosa, located across the border from McAllen, Texas, while Los Zetas controls large sections of Nuevo Laredo, which is across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas, officials say.
Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, known as "El Lazca," deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit, becoming the armed wing of the Gulf drug cartel.
After several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico's most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.
Tamaulipas, according to official figures, had a homicide rate of 30 per 100,000 residents in 2010.
A total of 15,270 people died in drug-related violence in Mexico last year, and more than 40,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the country's cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.