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Mexico captures wanted alleged drug trafficker

By Mariano Castillo, CNN
updated 1:28 PM EST, Tue December 13, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Raul Lucio Hernandez Lechuga was on Mexico's list of the 37 most-wanted criminals
  • Hernandez was arrested Monday in the state of Veracruz, officials say
  • Hernandez, known as "El Lucky," belongs to the Zetas drug cartel, officials say

(CNN) -- Good fortune ran out for an alleged Mexican drug cartel figure known as "El Lucky" when he was captured by the navy, officials said Tuesday.

The navy said it arrested Raul Lucio Hernandez Lechuga, who was also known as "Z-16," Monday in the state of Veracruz.

One of the alleged trafficker's bodyguards was killed in a shootout during the arrest, and one service member was injured, officials said.

Hernandez was on the government's list of the 37 most-wanted criminals. His arrest came "as the result of intense intelligence work," the navy said.

He was a leader who operated in at least 10 Mexican states, officials contend.

With his capture, Mexican authorities have arrested or killed 22 of the 37 most wanted alleged drug figures. Despite the successes, drug-related violence remains high throughout the country.

More than 43,000 people have been killed in such violence since President Felipe Calderon initiated an offensive against the cartels in 2006.

According to the federal attorney general's office, Hernandez's capture was the result of more than a year of intelligence work that involved national and international agencies.

The attorney general's office was offering a 15 million peso (U.S. $1.1 million) reward for information leading to his capture, while the United States offered an additional $1 million. Authorities did not say if anyone was awarded any money.

Hernandez collaborated directly with Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, the alleged leader of the Zetas, authorities said.

Four other accused cartel members were arrested alongside Hernandez.

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