A suspected Jalisco Nueva Generacion drug cartel operations chief and hitman was captured by marines in Mexico, the Navy Secretariat said Monday.

Juan Carlos Hernandez Pulido, who may have been involved in the killings of three journalists in May, was arrested on Friday after authorities received a tip that an armed individual was selling drugs from a vehicle.

The suspect tried to flee when he spotted the marines, but military personnel cut him off, the secretariat said.

A search of Hernandez Pulido's vehicle turned up identification cards belonging to Ana Irasema Becerra Jimenez, a reporter for a newspaper in the Gulf city of Veracruz who was found dead on May 3 along with fellow journalists Gabriel Huge Cordoba, Guillermo Luna Varela and Esteban Rodriguez.

Investigators will try to determine Hernandez Pulido's role in the killings of the four journalists, the secretariat said.

Hernandez Pulido was carrying two grenades, 68 small bags of a powder presumed to be cocaine, 62 bags of crack cocaine, 52 bags of what appears to be marijuana and communications gear, the Navy Secretariat said.

The suspect confessed that he was involved in distributing drugs provided by Isaias Flores Pineda, who was arrested last Wednesday.

Hernandez Pulido and the evidence seized from him were turned over to federal prosecutors in the port city of Veracruz.

The Jalisco Nueva Generacion organization was created following the death of Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel, a top Sinaloa drug cartel boss killed by the army in 2010. EFE