A group of soldiers and federal agents this week took custody of Ricardo Alberto “N” after executing a search warrant in a home in Nuevo Casas Grandes, a city some 50 miles south of the U.S. border known as a stronghold for La Linea drug cartel.
The suspect was in possession of a gun, a rifle and small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and crystal meth when arrested, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office said in a news release Thursday.
The arrest of the alleged gang member also known as “El Coma Bravo” or “Commander Bravo” was based on intelligence work by an interdisciplinary unit investigating the murders from two years ago in a highway between the towns of La Mora and Bavispe, Sonora, according to the AG’s Office.
Most of those arrested so far are members of La Linea, a transnational criminal organization formed from the remnants of the old Juarez cartel. The Mexican government said La Linea operatives fired on three vehicles they believed were part of a caravan carrying rivals from the Sinaloa cartel. The hail of gunfire killed Rhonita Miller, 30; Christina Marie Langford Johnson, 29; Dawna Langford, 43; and six children.
“If they have proof that he is tied to the murders, he should be processed,” Adrian LeBaron, Rhonita’s father, tweeted on Thursday. “I want to recognize the work (of those involved) on behalf of my family and my community, and also because there is one less criminal roaming the streets, terrorizing Mexico.”
LeBaron is a resident of Colonia LeBaron, an independent Mormon settlement in Chihuahua.
So far, the highest-ranking members of La Linea detained in connection to the murders include Roberto Gonzalez Montes, a.k.a. “32” or “The Mute,” Leonel Toscano Cuevas, a.k.a. “El Tolteca,” and former Janos Police Chief Fidel Alejandro Villegas.
Gonzalez oversaw La Linea cells in Western Chihuahua and allegedly green-lighted the attack; “El Tolteca” headed La Linea’s forward units in Sonora and allegedly was in charge at the scene of the shootings.