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2 alleged cartel leaders caught in Mexico

July 11, 2012 at 4:58 PM

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico, July 11 (UPI) -- Two alleged leaders of the Mexico-based Sinaloa drug cartel have been caught by Chihuahua State police officers, officials said.

Daniel Franco Lopez,, also known as "Micha," 26, and Fernando Arellano Romero, also known as "Gama", 43, had been indicted in April in El Paso, Texas, for their alleged role in the kidnapping of Sergio Saucedo, a Horizon City, Texas, resident abducted from his home in May 2009 and found dead in Juarez, the El Paso Times reported.

Officials said in a news release officers from Chihuahua Attorney General's office in Juarez saw the two suspects during an operation designed to capture fugitives and locate stolen vehicles.

Officers spotted a gray Volkswagen Jetta described as suspicious, and it sped off but officers caught up to the car in Juarez, officials said.

Both suspects were arrested without incident and neither was armed, the Times said.

Officials discovered through a database both suspects are wanted by Mexican federal authorities for alleged crimes and by U.S. authorities in Texas for alleged drug trafficking.

The Times said the two men had been indicted in April on federal charges along with Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, the leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, and another 21 other alleged cartel members.

Thousands of homicides have been blamed on the Sinaloa drug cartel during drug wars that started in Juarez in 2008 and have led to the deaths of 9,500 people, the Times said.

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