Sadistic Zetas Kingpin Nabbed

Cartel boss captured without a fight in Mexico

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 16, 2013 1:50 AM CDT | Updated Jul 16, 2013 3:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Mexican security forces have scored a massive victory with the capture of a cartel leader blamed for many of the drug war's worst atrocities. Miguel Angel Trevino, the Zetas boss also known as "40" and "Death," was captured when Mexican marines intercepted his pickup truck with a helicopter a few miles from the US border, Reuters reports. Authorities say not a single shot was fired during the operation, which captured two other senior Zetas along with a cache of firearms and $2 million in cash.

The capture of Trevino—whose reputation for extreme violence including beheadings and hanging bodies from bridges helped him rise to the top of the cartel—without a fight came as a surprise to former FBI agent Arturo Fontes, who has been tracking the cartel leader for years. "He had told his closest associates he’d rather be captured dead than alive," Fontes tells the Dallas Morning News, adding that "Mexico in general is breathing a sign of relief today." But law enforcement officials fear that Trevino's arrest may actually increase violence, at least in the short term, as rivals battle to replace him.

This mug shot released by Mexico's Interior Ministry shows Zetas drug cartel leader Miguel Angel Trevino Morales.   (AP Photo/Mexico's Interior Ministry)
This image from the Mexican Attorney General's Office rewards program website, shows the leader of Zetas drug cartel, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales.   (AP Photo/Mexican Attorney General's Office website)
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'40' was the villain, the enforcer and game changer, the one who changed the landscape for Mexico, introducing unimaginable violence to the country. - Former FBI agent Arturo Fontes

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