Cops Nab 'the Rat'—Leader of Ruthless Drug Cartel
Hernan Alonso Villa arrested by Spanish police
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 20, 2014 2:25 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Spanish police have arrested one of Colombia's most-wanted criminals, a 40-year-old man nicknamed the Rat—one of the leaders of a ruthless drug cartel linked to 400 murders and the shipment of the largest amounts of cocaine to the US and Europe. Hernan Alonso Villa was arrested Friday while driving on a highway on the outskirts of the southeastern Mediterranean port city of Alicante, police said in a statement. He was allegedly found carrying 40,000 euros in cash.

Police in Colombia said Alonso Villa is leader of the military wing of the so-called Envigado Office, named for the district in Medellin where one of the country's largest and most-violent drug trafficking organizations arose in the 1990s following the dismemberment of Pablo Escobar's Medellin cartel. The criminal organization is linked to more than 400 murders, police said. Yesterday's statement says Alonso Villa had 200 people under his command and was responsible for exporting cocaine to Spain, the US, and the Netherlands.