Source AP ©

Police arrest Gulf cartel's chief

One of the key killers and kidnappers for Mexican powerful Gulf cartel has been arrested.

Eleazar Medina Rojas purportedly ran the gang's operations in Nuevo Leon state, bordering Texas, and allegedly was a member of the Zetas, a group of Gulf cartel enforcers that includes former soldiers.

Patricio Patino, a top Mexican law enforcement official, said Medina is "one of the main killers and kidnappers of the Gulf cartel."

The gang, considered one of Mexico's biggest and most brutal, is fighting the Sinaloa cartel for lucrative smuggling routes into the U.S. The Gulf cartel is accused of numerous brutal killings in the past year, including beheadings and mutilations of bodies with notes threatening authorities stuck to them.

Medina was one of 10 people arrested in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, across from Laredo, Texas. Others included Medina's father, four other cartel members and four women who allegedly dated the men. Officials did not give more details.

Patino said Medina was arrested in 1996 in Mexico when he was allegedly found with 153 kilograms (337 pounds) of marijuana, but was later freed after obtaining a court injunction.

He also had "various encounters" with U.S. government agencies, said Felix Garza, of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in South Texas. He said he could not give more details.

Patino said Medina was detained in Laredo for violating immigration laws, but did not elaborate. It was unclear when he was detained in Laredo or whether he was deported or returned voluntarily to Mexico.

Officials also seized vehicle, bullets and three firearms, including a semiautomatic gun.

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