Nine suspected members of the Los Zetas drug cartel were arrested in Saltillo, the capital of the northern state of Coahuila, by marines, the Mexican Navy Secretariat said Wednesday.

The men were arrested on Monday during an urban patrol in Saltillo.

Marines spotted several armed subjects near a house and moved in to arrest Daniel Monsivais Hernandez, Cristian Armando Escobedo Sifuentes, Osvaldo Lopez Hernandez and Israel Larreta Soto, the secretariat said.

Jose Juan Perez Garcia, Juan Ramon Martinez Garcia, Antonio Martinez Garcia, Victor Hugo Morales Magallanes and Gabriel Camarena Cortez were also detained by marines, the secretariat said.

Marines seized "30 grenade launcher tubes" of homemade origin, eight rifles, three grenades, 43 ammunition clips and more than 1,100 rounds of ammunition from the suspects.

The suspects had seven small cylinders of explosive gel, about 1,560 kilos "of presumed marijuana," 40,485 doses of methamphetamine, five vehicles and other items in their possession, the secretariat said.

Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, the top Los Zetas boss, was killed in a shootout with marines in Coahuila state on Oct. 7.

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 several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico's most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.

The cartel, which has expanded into Central America, is also involved in kidnappings, extortion rackets, people trafficking and murders, among other crimes. EFE