The suspected operations chief of the Jalisco Nueva Generacion drug cartel was arrested by the Federal Police in Zapopan, a city in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, the Public Safety Secretariat said.

Eliot Alberto Radillo Peza, who was arrested on Monday, reported directly to Jose Angel Carrasco Coronel, the nephew of Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel, a top Sinaloa drug cartel boss killed by the army two years ago, the secretariat said in a statement.

The Jalisco Nueva Generacion organization was created following the death of Nacho Coronel.

Radillo began his criminal career in 2009 with the Milenio drug cartel, working as a drug distributor, the secretariat said.

The suspect later joined the Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartel amid the turf war over Guadalajara, the state capital, against the La Resistencia gang, the secretariat said.

Radillo ran the enforcers working for the cartel following the July 13, 2011, arrest of Martin Arzola Ortega and the arrest last month of Luis Manuel Orozco Valencia, the secretariat said.

The 30-year-old Radillo has been linked to several kidnappings and murders of civilians, rival gang members and police, investigators said.

The Federal Police arrested Radillo in an operation involving tactical units, armored vehicles and Black Hawk helicopters, the secretariat said.

Radillo was arrested along with Juan Carlos Salazar de la Cruz, a 36-year-old associate from Guadalajara.

Officers seized two rifles, a fragmentation grenade, ammunition, a vehicle, communications gear, a laptop computer and other items from the suspects.

"The suspects and all the property seized were turned over to federal prosecutors, who will conduct the investigation and determine their legal status," the Public Safety Secretariat said.

Twelve suspected members of the Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartel, including leaders Martin Arzola and Abundio Mendoza Gaytan, have been arrested since July 2011 on extortion, kidnapping and drug charges, the secretariat said. EFE