Gilberto Ontiveros Lucero, a suspected border drug lord accused...

JUAREZ, Mexico -- Gilberto Ontiveros Lucero, a suspected border drug lord accused of kidnapping and beating a news photographer earlier in the week, was arrested in a drug and weapons raid at his home, Mexican federal police said.

Lucero, 36, known in Juarez as El Grenas (Mop Head), and 11 other people -- three of them women -- were arrested Friday about 3 p.m. in Ontiveros' home. Officers found about 10 ounces of cocaine and and undisclosed number of high-powered weapons, federal police in Mexico City said.


Free lance photographer Al Gutierrez, accused Ontiveros of kidnapping and beating him Wednesday after mistaking him for a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

Felipe Flores, spokesman for Mexican attorney general's office in Mexico City, said Ontiveros was being held on suspicion of drug trafficking.

'We will also decide whether to press charges over the kidnapping,' Flores said.

Ontiveros allegedly held Gutierrez for 12 hours, subjecting him to beatings and a mock execution before dumping him on the side of a highway south of Juarez.

When he was abducted, Gutierrez was trying to photograph a plush Juarez hotel financed by Ontiveros.

Ontiveros and the other suspects were taken to CeReSo Prison in southeast Juarez but were expected to be moved to Mexico City. All 12 were scheduled to appear before a local justice Saturday morning to hear charges against them.


Ontiveros is one of the most wanted drug traffickers in Mexico, said Hector del Castillo, a federal judicial agent.

Ontiveros is wanted in the United States on a four-year-old federal warrant charging him with smuggling three tons of marijuana into El Paso.

Alberto Torres, acting major of Juarez, said he was overjoyed at news of the arrest.

'Seeing those mobsters jailed is going to bring a big change in our community,' he said.

Ontiveros' arrest allegedly stemmed from the arrest last week of Rogelio Fernandez Aguilera, a reputed Ontiveros operative, on a 20-acre marijuana farm in the Sierras of Chihuahua.

Ontiveros' arrest warrant was issued as a result of statements made by Fernandez Aguilera, federal authorities told the El Paso-Herald Post.

Gutierrez Friday refused to file charges in Juarez against Ontiveros, saying he feared reprisals, however, Herald-Post reporter Terry Poppa, whose life Gutierrez said was threatened by Ontiveros, filed a criminal complaint Friday.

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