A Gulf cartel boss suspected of being in charge of drug sales in Monterrey, the capital of the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, has been arrested, federal officials said.

David Rosales Guzman was captured on Saturday and faces murder, kidnapping, extortion and other charges, the Public Safety Secretariat said.

"It is known that David Rosales Guzman was put in charge by the Gulf cartel of taking on the Los Zetas criminal organization in the state of Nuevo Leon," the secretariat said in a statement.

Rosales Guzman was "responsible for multiple murders, kidnappings, extortion (rackets) and attacks," the secretariat said.

The drug trafficker is suspected of being behind the murders of two men whose bodies were found hanging off a pedestrian bridge on the city limits of Monterrey and San Nicolas de los Garza on Aug. 8, the secretariat said.

Rosales Guzman is also suspected of attacking Monterrey's Matehuala bar, where 14 people were killed and three others wounded on Aug. 14.

He faces murder charges in connection with the killings of three people on Aug. 8 outside the Makiavelo bar and the attacks on the Azul Tequila, Jarros 2 and Eternidad bars on Aug. 20 that left a woman dead, the Public Safety Secretariat said.

The drug trafficker kidnapped and murdered four people last Wednesday, dumping their bodies in a Monterrey neighborhood, the secretariat said.

Rosales Guzman "was in charge of coordinating and ordering murders of members of rival gangs, running extortion (rackets) against bars and nightclubs, and distributing drugs" in Monterrey, the secretariat said.

The suspect brought drugs to Monterrey from Reynosa, a border city in Tamaulipas state, where other Gulf cartel members operate.

Investigators "have knowledge" that Rosales Guzman had links to municipal police officers in Nuevo Leon, the secretariat said.

Rosales Guzman was arrested in the Colonia Independiente neighborhood of the city of Guadalupe after officers spotted him in an SUV and he was unable to give them the slip.

The suspect was arrested in the course of an investigation into the recent series of murders and attacks in Monterrey, the secretariat said.

Rosales Guzman was carrying drugs at the time of his arrest, the Public Safety Secretariat said.

The Gulf cartel and Los Zetas have been battling for control of smuggling routes from northern Mexico into the United States.

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 more than a decade on the Gulf cartel's payroll, Los Zetas went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.

The Gulf organization was founded by Juan Nepomuceno Guerra in the 1970s and was later led by Juan Garcia Abrego, who was arrested in 1996 and extradited to the United States.

Osiel Cardenas Guillen later became the Gulf cartel's undisputed boss.

Cardenas was arrested in 2003, but he continued running the Gulf cartel, one of the most violent and powerful criminal organizations in Mexico, until his extradition to the United States four years later. EFE