Captured Los Zetas Cartel Leader Moved To Maximum-Security Prison In Mexico

Published July 21, 2013


The leader of the Los Zetas drug cartel has been transferred to a maximum-security prison in the central state of Mexico and placed at the disposition of a judge, the federal attorney general's office told Efe.

A source with the AG's office said Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, alias "Z40," who was captured Monday in northeastern Mexico, was transferred by navy helicopter at around 1:00 p.m. on Friday.

The suspect is to provide his first statement to the judge in prison, located in the town of Almoloya de Juarez.

The Zetas boss faces charges of racketeering, murder and money laundering, among other offenses, and both the Mexican and U.S. governments had posted multimillion-dollar rewards for information leading to his arrest.

Treviño is thought to have ordered the abduction and subsequent execution of more than 200 undocumented migrants who were found in a series of clandestine graves in the northeastern municipality of San Fernando in August 2010 and April 2011.

News of Treviño's apprehension came less than a year after the then-chief of the ultraviolent Zetas organization, Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, died in a shootout with Mexican troops.

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, U.S.-trained special operations unit.

After several years as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas went into the drug business on their own account in early 2010 and now control several lucrative territories.

El Lazca's death and the capture of Z40 leave the latter's brother, Oscar Omar Treviño Morales, as the only top Zetas leader still at large. 

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