The Mexican army on Tuesday arrested the brother of the country’s most wanted drug cartel boss, Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera, the Mexico Defense Department said.
The army said it captured Antonio Oseguera in possession of weapons in a suburb of Guadalajara, the capital of the western state of Jalisco. It said he oversaw violent actions and logistics, and bought weapons and laundered money for the hyperviolent Jalisco New Generation Cartel, often known simply as the Jalisco cartel.
The U.S. Treasury Department lists Antonio Oseguera’s alias as “El Tony Montana,” an apparent reference to the fictional protagonist of the 1983 gangster film “Scarface.” According to the Treasury Department, he served a prison sentence in the U.S. following a 1996 arrest on heroin charges “before being deported to Mexico and reengaging in drug trafficking activity.”
Antonio Oseguera is on a Treasury Department sanctions list for his ties to the cartel. However, it was not immediately clear if there is a U.S. warrant of extradition request for him.
The state of Jalisco was immediately put on high alert after Antonio Oseguera’s arrest. In a statement, the army called the arrest a “powerful blow” to the Jalisco cartel.
Authorities previously arrested El Mencho’s wife, alleging she was involved in the cartel’s illegal activities. In 2020, El Mencho’s daughter was arrested in Washington D.C. on drug trafficking charges,
The United States has offered a $10 million reward for El Mencho’s capture, but the cartel has violently fought past attempts to arrest him.
“He is the number one priority for DEA and frankly for federal law enforcement in the United States,” DEA agent Matthew Donahue told CBS News in 2019.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said Mexico no longer has a policy of detaining drug lords, but authorities have gone after top lieutenants of some cartels, including the Jalisco.
The Jalisco cartel is arguably Mexico’s most powerful and violent. It made its reputation with brazen attacks on Mexico’s security forces, including a 2020 assassination attempt on Mexico City’s police chief that wounded him and killed three other people.
In 2015, cartel gunmen shot down a Mexican military helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade.
The Jalisco cartel allegedly kidnapped a colonel who oversaw a detachment in the gang-infested northern border city of Nuevo Laredo, which is located across from Laredo, Texas, just last week, according to the Mexican army.
Beyond Jalisco, the cartel has ruthlessly encroached, causing bloodshed in states like Guanajuato and Michoacan as well as reaching its tentacles into Quintana Roo’s Caribbean beach resorts in Mexico.
Drug trafficking into the United States is the cartel’s main source of income, particularly for methamphetamine and fentanyl.
The Jalisco cartel is a major factor in the influx of fentanyl into the United States, which is killing tens of thousands of Americans, according to the director of the Drug Enforcement Administration, who spoke to CBS News.
In August, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said, “What we see at DEA is basically that there are two cartels in Mexico, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, that are killing Americans with fentanyl at catastrophic and record rates like we have never seen before.” “Those cartels are using calculated, deliberate treachery to smuggle fentanyl into the United States and convince people to purchase it through fake pills, by blending it with other drugs, or by any other means available to them in order to promote addiction and profit.”