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Authorities arrest rival cartel figures in Baja California hours apart

May 20, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Authorities arrest rival cartel figures in Baja California hours apart

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Mexican officials are hailing the arrests of a pair of senior cartel figures responsible for much of the violence in the state of Baja California.

Law enforcement officials announced the arrest of Gabriel Ayala-Fonseca, also known as “El Tres Animales” or “The Three Animals,” who has been identified as the leader of the Arellano Félix Cartel in Ensenada and has been linked to much of the spiraling violence resulting from an ongoing turf war with the Sinaloa Cartel.

Baja California’s State Security Chief Daniel de la Rosa Anaya called the arrest “historic” because Ayala-Fonseca had for years operated in Ensenada with impunity.

Officials said that Ayala-Fonseca has worked for the Arellano Félix Organization since the 1990s and climbed the ranks to become a regional boss.

Ayala-Fonseca was traveling in a vehicle that was transporting high-caliber weapons and narcotics when he was arrested by the army and state police in Avenida México.

The capo’s arrest came just hours after Mexican authorities captured his chief rival Arturo Misael Frías Ochoa, who served as a lieutenant to the Arzate brothers, the top Sinaloa cartel bosses in Baja California.

Frías Ochoa is believed to have masterminded a failed hit on Ayala-Fonseca back in January when gunmen killed four people at a cockfighting ring in the town of Rosarito.

Mexican law enforcement previously arrested Anaya Fonseca in 2009 along with eight accomplices. Among them was an Ensenada municipal police officer who was arrested for possession of 50 kilograms of crystal meth. However, for some unknown reason, he was later released.

According to officials, both men have been engaged in a dispute over the drug smuggling routes around Ensenada.

Baja California has become ground zero for a brutal turf war involving an alliance between the Arellano-Felix and the ruthless Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, who are seeking to gain a control of the major smuggling corridors in the state, specifically in Tijuana.

The war has resulted in the murder rate tripling in Tijuana and around the state.

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