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WORLD
August 17, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - The leader of the Gulf cartel, one of Mexico's oldest drug-running groups, has been captured, Mexican officials said Saturday. Mario Armando Ramírez Treviño was apprehended by the Mexican army Saturday morning, according to a government statement. The arrest took place in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, near the Texas border, Mexican media said. Ramirez, 51, known as “El Pelon,” or “The Bald One,” was indicted on drug distribution charges in a U.S. federal court in 2008.
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WORLD
April 16, 2014 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY - Mexico's drug and corruption crackdown intensified this week with the arrests of the reputed second in command of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel and the mayor of a Michoacan city once controlled by the Knights Templar criminal gang. The detention Tuesday of Uriel Chavez Mendoza, the mayor of Apatzingan, could help government officials persuade the “self-defense” militias in the western state of Michoacan to comply with a newly minted agreement to disband by May 10. Tension between the armed citizen militias and the Knights Templar, a cult-like criminal organization, has made Michoacan one of the most sensitive security problems for the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 28, 2013 | By Victoria Kim
Authorities are seeking the public's help to locate a parolee with mental health problems suspected of kidnapping his two children Wednesday night. Charles Baines, 36, has a shaved head and the words “Drug Cartel” tattooed on his left cheek, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. Baines allegedly took his two sons, who are 9 and 10 years old, from the Harbor City home of his mother, who has custody of the children, according to authorities. Baines is driving a red Kia Spectra with the license plate 6FMN288, which was stolen from his mother, who was asleep when he left with the children, according to the Sheriff's Department.
SPORTS
April 15, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
SAN FRANCISCO -- Yasiel Puig remained silent Tuesday about the Los Angeles Magazine article that told a story of his escape from Cuba and the death threats he purportedly received last year from human traffickers under control of a major Mexican drug cartel. Manager Don Mattingly said he has spoken to Puig to check on his mental state. Asked how Puig seemed, Mattingly replied, “Fine.” Mattingly said he hadn't read the article but had heard about it. He said he wasn't worried about the team's safety.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 24, 2011 | Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Never lose track of the load. It was drilled into everybody who worked for Carlos “Charlie” Cuevas. His drivers, lookouts, stash house operators, dispatchers -- they all knew. When a shipment was on the move, a pair of eyes had to move with it. Cuevas had just sent a crew of seven men to the border crossing at Calexico, Calif. The load they were tracking was cocaine, concealed in a custom-made compartment inside a blue 2003 Honda Accord. The car was still on the Mexican side in a 10-lane crush of vehicles inching toward the U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection station.
NATIONAL
June 12, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - The unlikeliest of marriages  - the most violent Mexican drug cartel and the world of U.S. quarter horse racing - ended with the arrest Tuesday of one of the top men in the Los Zetas drug trafficking ring after U.S. officials began suspecting an uncanny run of good fortune at the track and the laundering of millions of dollars in drug proceeds. Arrested were Jose Trevino Morales, his wife, and five associates. They were taken into U.S. custody after scores of FBI agents in all-terrain vehicles and helicopters raided horse stables and ranches near Ruidoso, N.M., and Lexington, Okla.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 16, 2009 | Richard Marosi
A top lieutenant in the Arellano Felix drug cartel in Tijuana pleaded guilty Thursday to drug conspiracy charges, the latest member of the once-powerful organized crime group to now face a long U.S. prison sentence. Jesus "Chuy" Labra Aviles, a wealthy, 62-year-old businessman who helped the Arellano Felix brothers smuggle hundreds of tons of cocaine and marijuana into the United States in the 1980s and '90s, was scheduled to go to trial in November, but changed his plea at a brief hearing in San Diego.
WORLD
May 20, 2009 | Tracy Wilkinson
Leaving a baptism party in Acapulco, the reputed lieutenant of a major drug cartel flew to Mexico's wealthiest city, Monterrey. He landed shortly after midnight and stepped casually from his private plane. But before his alleged luggage of guns, marijuana and cash could be unloaded, any plans Rodolfo Lopez Ibarra might have had to take over local smuggling operations were squashed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 27, 2011 | By Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times
John Charles Ward would take flight in the half-light before dawn, when he could race down the runway without headlights and ascend into the cloaking embrace of an overcast sky. This feature requires that JavaScript be enabled and the Flash plug-in be installed. John Charles Ward would take flight in the half-light before dawn, when he could race down the runway without headlights and ascend into the cloaking embrace of an overcast sky. Soaring above the crowded California freeways in the single-engine aircraft, he'd relax, pour himself a whiskey and Seven and plan his hopscotch route to Pennsylvania.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2013 | By Richard Marosi
SAN DIEGO -- The son of one of Mexico's most wanted drug kingpins has been arrested while trying to cross into the U.S. with his wife in Nogales, Ariz., federal authorities said Friday. Serafin Zambada, who was arrested on Wednesday, is expected to be transferred to San Diego where he is wanted on drug trafficking charges, according to Amy Roderick, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration in San Diego. Authorities said Zambada is the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, a top leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel , which is believed to smuggle more drugs into the U.S. than any other Mexican organized crime group.
SPORTS
April 14, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
Seemingly from the moment Cuban refugee Yasiel Puig showed up at Dodger Stadium out of nowhere, arriving last June unwilling to discuss his unknown background, the talk behind the batting cages has been rife with unprintable rumors. There were rumors Puig was smuggled out of Cuba by members of a Mexican drug cartel. There were rumors he still owed the smugglers money, and that his life could be in jeopardy. There was talk about Puig being essentially owned by a Miami businessman with a criminal record who hired those smugglers in exchange for 20% of the ballplayer's future earnings.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2014 | By Diana Marcum, Scott Gold and Marisa Gerber
A Central California man who claims to have killed more than 30 people during his time as a contract killer for an unnamed Mexican drug cartel has told authorities he's "ready to 'fess up," an official involved in the investigation said. Jose Manuel Martinez, 51, was charged Tuesday with killing nine men, mostly in the Central Valley, as part of what he allegedly told authorities was a 32-year run as a hit man. Arrested on suspicion of a homicide in Alabama while returning from a trip to Mexico in 2013, officials said Martinez appears to have concluded that the gig was up. It was time, they said he told the authorities, to come clean.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2014 | By Diana Marcum
An alleged hit man who killed for more than 30 years across the country has been charged with murder in the deaths of nine men in California, prosecutors announced Tuesday. Eight of the killings allegedly carried out by Jose Manuel Martinez, a self-described enforcer for a Mexican drug cartel, occurred  in the Central Valley and one in Santa Barbara County. The victims were found by ranchers in fields and alongside country roads, according to the Tulare County district attorney's office.
WORLD
April 7, 2014 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY - A key leader of the vigilante “self-defense” movement in Mexico's Michoacan state said Monday that he was refusing a government order to disarm, and roadblocks to keep out federal forces charged with taking away the vigilantes' weapons were reported in numerous cities. Vigilante leader Jose Manuel Mireles said in a radio interview that the government had not sufficiently pacified the state. “Armed and masked” drug cartel members began appearing in the streets just hours after the government's announcement last week declaring it was time for the vigilantes to disarm, he said.
WORLD
April 5, 2014 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY - The former interim governor of Mexico's troubled Michoacan state, who has been accused by a vigilante “self-defense” group leader of having drug cartel ties, has been ordered to appear before federal prosecutors for questioning, officials said. Jose Jesus Reyna Garcia, who served as the appointed governor of the western state from April to October of last year, was ordered to the attorney general's headquarters in Mexico City on Friday afternoon to give testimony as part of a federal investigation, according to a government statement released late Friday night.
WORLD
April 5, 2014 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - Mexican federal authorities have detained the interior minister of Michoacan state after determining that he has "possible contacts with criminal organizations," according to a statement released by prosecutors Saturday night. The aggressive action against Interior Minister Jesus Reyna, is a sign that the federal government, which has struggled for months to control the drug-plagued state, is considering the possibility that the influence of narcotics trafficking has spread nearly to the pinnacle of state government.
WORLD
January 30, 2014 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's attorney general said Thursday that he has proof that some of the arms being used by the vigilante “self-defense” groups of Michoacan state were supplied by a drug cartel, the Jalisco New Generation, according to news reports. The self-defense groups sprang up last February to take on a drug cartel called the Knights Templar. Many members are rural landowners and farmworkers fed up with the harassment and extortion by the Knights Templars. But there has been wide speculation that the groups had some connection to, or support from, the New Generation, a rival of the Knights Templar.
NATIONAL
June 4, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano and Molly Hennessy-Fiske
WASHINGTON - Federal law enforcement officials theorize that five people found dead in a burned-out vehicle in southern Arizona were hostages killed by a Mexican drug cartel and that their deaths last weekend could mark another example of violence spreading from Mexico across the Southwest border into the United States. “That is what it sounds like to us,” said a Border Patrol official who has been briefed on the bodies found Saturday morning in a white Ford Expedition in a remote desert area off Interstate 8 between Phoenix and Tucson.
WORLD
April 3, 2014 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - Citizen "self-defense" groups that have emerged to fight off a ruthless drug cartel in the state of Michoacan should take steps to join the government security apparatus or disarm, Mexican officials said Thursday. Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said during a press conference in Morelia, the state capital, that government forces have gained the upper hand since thousands of troops and police officers swarmed the western state and arrested several "important criminals” associated with the Knights Templar drug cartel.
WORLD
March 12, 2014
MEXICO CITY - One of the best-known leaders of Mexico's vigilante “self-defense” movement has been arrested on suspicion of participating in a double homicide, raising new doubts about the federal government's strategy of partnering with armed campesino groups in the fight against a powerful drug cartel in Michoacan state. Hipolito Mora Chavez, a lime grower who gained fame for leading one of the first local uprisings of autodefensa groups early last year in the small city of La Ruana, was arrested Tuesday evening by state officials.
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