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Suspect in Juarez car bombing arrested, Mexican police say

By Nick Valencia, CNN
  • The July 15 car bomb in Ciudad Juarez killed three people
  • Police believe the bombing was in retaliation for a gang arrest
  • The suspect arrested is a suspected drug dealer with cartel ties

(CNN) -- A suspect sought in connection to a fatal car bombing in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in July has been arrested by Mexican police, according to a press release from the national Public Security Secretariat (SSP).

Jose Ivan Contreras Lumbreras, alias "El Keiko," is suspected of overseeing placement of the car bomb, the release said. Contreras is also suspected of killing a person found minutes before the explosion, the release said. Police reported that a man dressed in a municipal police uniform and left for dead was used as bait by assailants to lure authorities to the car bomb.

Investigators believe the July 15 car bombing was in retaliation for the arrest of Armando Acosta Hernandez, a principle figure in the hierarchy of a local gang.

Three people were killed in the attack -- a federal police officer, an emergency worker, and another man.

Contreras was arrested Sunday in Ciudad Juarez. He is a suspected drug dealer for the armed wing of the Juarez Cartel, known as La Linea.

"[He] is the leader of a group of murderers who implemented the logistics for conducting criminal activities arranged by 'La Linea,' such as drug trafficking, illegal deprivation of liberty, extortion, and homicide, among other things," the SSP release said.

Investigators said Contreras had been planning an attack against federal police since August.

He is also named as a suspect in several "narcopintas" or threatening graffiti messages left in the city by alleged drug traffickers.

Contreras has a criminal record dating back to 2008, according to police. He is also connected to the kidnapping of a woman on August 18, authorities said.

Along with Contreras, five other suspected drug dealers "responsible for collecting large sums of money" from different shops in Juarez, were also arrested.

The suspects arrested range in age from 15 to 31.

Also Monday, federal police spokesman Ramon Salinas said a 6-year-old girl in Juarez was shot several times in the face and killed while she was at home over the weekend.

Salinas said authorities were investigating that incident