Daniel Elizondo Jesus "El Loco" Ramirez fired at Mexican army troops and threw a grenade in trying to avoid arrest, ABC News reported Monday. Two other alleged Zetas commanders are still being sought.
The bodies of 43 men and six women were found May 13. ABC News said it appeared the victims may have been migrants from southern Mexico and Central America.
A video posted on the Web last week allegedly shows gunmen dumping the bodies along a highway and holding up a banner that warns members of rival drug cartels could suffer a similar fate.
The Zetas drug cartel, which has a reputation for violence, controls most of eastern and northern Mexico but is locked in a battle with two other cartels for dominance in Nuevo Leon.