A man suspected of being a legal adviser to Enrique Plancarte, one of the top leaders of the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel, was arrested in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, the Defense Secretariat said.

Rafael Alvarez del Rio was captured at a motel on the Apatzingan-Patzcuaro highway, the secretariat said in a statement.

The suspect told investigators that he was responsible for handling Plancarte's legal affairs.

Alvarez del Rio had an assault rifle, two ammunition clips, 247 rounds of ammunition and 68 packets of marijuana in his possession, the secretariat said.

Federal security forces detained 12 other Caballeros Templarios members over the weekend, the Defense Secretariat said.

Gunmen attacked a federal convoy Saturday on a road outside Apatzingan, but no one was injured.

Four suspected Caballeros Templarios members, all of them armed, were detained after the attack, the secretariat said.

A tip from a citizen led to the arrest of Juan Carlos Orozco Rivera, suspected of running extortion rackets targeting jewelry stores in Apatzingan, officials said.

A laboratory used to produce synthetic drugs was found and destroyed over the weekend, the secretariat said.

Los Caballeros Templarios, a criminal organization founded in December 2010 by former members of the Familia Michoacana cartel, deals in both synthetic drugs and natural drugs.

The federal government deployed soldiers and police in Michoacan on Jan. 13 in an effort to end the wave of violence in the state. EFE