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Mexico captures suspected methamphetamine producer

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 12:43 PM EST, Tue February 14, 2012
Police have captured a man they allege is one of the main producers of methamphetamine for Mexico's Sinaloa cartel
Police have captured a man they allege is one of the main producers of methamphetamine for Mexico's Sinaloa cartel
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: An official says authorities seized $2 million worth of methamphetamine
  • Suspected methamphetamine producer Jaime "JH" Herrera is detained in Sinaloa state
  • He is also wanted for alleged trafficking in the United States, government says

Mexico City (CNN) -- Police have captured a man they allege is one of the main producers of methamphetamine for Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, authorities said.

Police detained Jaime "JH" Herrera in Culiacan, Sinaloa, said Eduardo Pequeno, the head of the anti-drug department of Mexico's Federal Police.

Authorities seized roughly $2 million worth of methamphetamine during his arrest, Pequeno said.

Herrera was arrested Monday, as a result of intelligence work by federal police, Mexico's ministry of public security said.

Herrera, 43, is a fugitive in the United States, where he is wanted on several criminal counts, the ministry said, without giving further details.

Authorities trace his alleged criminal history to 1996, as a dealer of synthetic drugs in Los Angeles, and the following year began to produce methamphetamine in his hometown of Culiacan, where he carried out operations until 1999, the ministry said.

Herrera moved his operations closer to the United States, to the border town of Tijuana, before returning to Culiacan by 2002, the public security ministry alleges.

At this time, he began working for the Sinaloa cartel, led by one of the world's most wanted drug traffickers, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

By that time, there was a shortage of chemicals for the production of methamphetamine, which led Herrera to branch out directly to Colombian traffickers, as well as to suppliers in China and Guatemala, the ministry alleges.

He is accused of transporting the drugs to the border area with a fleet of three planes and using ground routes to smuggle the drugs to Los Angeles, the ministry said.

Following his arrest, he told authorities that he moved several tons of drugs into the United States between 2008 and 2009, the ministry said.

CNNMexico.com contributed to this report.

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