Skip to main content

Mexican army arrests top Tijuana cartel lieutenant

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 12:15 PM EST, Mon November 7, 2011
Mexicans soldiers guard Juan Francisco Sillas Rocha, a top lieutenant of the Arellano Felix drug cartel.
Mexicans soldiers guard Juan Francisco Sillas Rocha, a top lieutenant of the Arellano Felix drug cartel.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Authorities say Juan Francisco Sillas Rocha "is reponsibile for countless killings"
  • He has been a top lieutenant in the Arellano-Felix cartel, Mexico's defense ministry says
  • Sillas ordered the kidnapping of three women related to a rival cartel leader, the ministry says

Mexico City (CNN) -- Authorities have arrested a top lieutenant of the Arellano Felix cartel, the Mexican defense ministry announced Monday.

Juan Francisco Sillas Rocha, 34, "is considered one of the most violent subjects responsible for countless killings," defense ministry spokesman Col. Ricardo Trevilla Trejo told reporters.

Sillas, also known as "The Wheel," has been one of the key lieutenants in a brutal turf war over drug-trafficking territory with the Sinaloa Cartel, the defense ministry said in a statement.

Last year he ordered the kidnapping of three women who were related to one of the rival cartel's leaders, the defense ministry said.

Authorities arrested him in Tijuana Saturday. They presented him to the media Monday.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Organization has said the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix Organization, also known as the Tijuana Cartel, is "known for its violence and ruthlessness."

CNN's Krupskaia Alis and CNNMexico.com contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT