MEXICO CITY - Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, the top leader of Mexico's notoriously brutal Los Zetas cartel, was arrested early Monday morning in the outskirts of border town Nuevo Loredo by Mexican Marine special forces in an operation reportedly based on US intelligence. He is currently being held in Mexico City where he is expected to be interrogated and possibly extradited to the United States.
Treviño, commonly referred to as "Z-40," has had a multimillion-dollar bounty on his head since taking over Los Zetas after the previous leader was killed in a shootout in 2008. He was reportedly in possession of $2 million in cash, eight weapons, and hundreds of ammunition cartridges at the time of his arrest. Reports also say that two others were apprehended in the operation, believed to be a bodyguard and accountant.
Los Zetas is a dominant cartel in Mexico, with a reputation for beheadings, execution-style killings, torture, and mutilation. More than 50 percent of its operations are dedicated to drug trafficking, predominantly cocaine, but the organization is also known for human trafficking, extortion, and kidnapping. The group also gained notoriety for its volume of military and police defectors, highly trained and well-armed in comparison to other cartels in the country.
Treviño himself had seven warrants outstanding at the time of his arrest, and faces charges of organized crime, homicide, torture, and money laundering. He is also accused of giving the order to kidnap and murder hundreds of migrants in 2011's San Fernando massacre.
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