Police in the northwestern Mexican state of Baja California seized more than $1 million that the Sinaloa cartel had made from drug sales in Los Angeles, security officials said.
State police officers spotted two suspects Sunday night driving around the border city of Tijuana, located near San Diego, California, and arrested them, Baja California Public Safety Secretary Daniel de la Rosa Anaya said.
A search of the vehicle belonging to the suspects, who were identified as Elias Lopez Lopez and Armando Limon Arredondo, turned up $952,000 in cash, De la Rosa Anaya said.
The suspects told investigators that more cash was stashed at their house, where police found another $102,000 and arrested two women, the public safety secretary said.
The money was being taken to Sinaloa state, which is also in northwest Mexico, De la Rosa Anaya said.
"It was part of the large sums of millions of dollars being shipped so it could get to the leaders of that criminal organization, of (Joaquin) 'Chapo' Guzman and (Ismael) 'Mayo' Zambada," the public safety secretary said.
The money was presumably going to be used by the Sinaloa cartel to buy weapons or real estate, De la Rosa Anaya said.
The case has been turned over to federal prosecutors so the suspects can be investigated for violations of Mexico's drug laws, the El Sol de Tijuana newspaper reported.
The Sinaloa cartel is led by Joaquin "El Chapo" (Shorty) Guzman, Mexico's most-wanted man.
Guzman has been on the list of U.S. drug kingpins since June 1, 2001.
The Sinaloa organization, sometimes referred to by officials as the Pacific cartel, is the oldest drug cartel in Mexico and has an extensive drug distribution network in the United States.
Guzman, who was arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and pulled off a Hollywood-style jailbreak when he escaped from the Puente Grande maximum-security prison in the western state of Jalisco on Jan. 19, 2001, is considered the most powerful drug trafficker in the world.
Chapo Guzman tops the list of Mexico's 37 most-wanted criminals and is on the Forbes list of the world's richest people.
The Sinaloa cartel, according to intelligence agencies, is a transnational business empire that operates in the United States, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Americas and Asia. EFE