Mexican security helicopter guns down drug cartel members

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Feb. 10, 2017 at 11:36 AM
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Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Mexico's Secretariat of the Navy said federal security forces killed Beltrán-Leyva cartel regional leader Juan Francisco Patrón and seven others during a shootout.

Patrón, also known as H2, was a key figure in the cartel's operations in Nayarit and Jalisco, Mexican officials said. After a security operation, Patrón and his accomplices took up shelter inside of a residence in Nayarit state.

Officials said security forces surrounded Patrón, who did not back down. An Mexican federal security helicopter fired down to where Patrón and his accomplices where hiding.

It is not clear if the men died from the helicopter fire.

"Today in a confrontation between criminals and Federal Forces, Juan Francisco N. was shot down with seven more accomplices," the Navy Secretariat said in a statement.

The Beltrán-Leyva cartel, also known as the Beltrán-Leyva Organization, began as a branch of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel before infighting split the group and they became enemies.

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