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More Details Emerge On Arrest Of Two Alleged Drug Gang Leaders

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Aired 2/9/10

Five Tijuana police officers have been detained for their alleged connection to the two suspected drug gang leaders arrested in La Paz, Mexico Monday morning. Mexican federal police released more eye-opening details about the two supposed leaders Tuesday.

— Five Tijuana police officers have been detained for their alleged connection to the two suspected drug gang leaders arrested in La Paz, Mexico Monday morning. Mexican federal police released more eye-opening details about the two supposed leaders Tuesday.

Reydel Lopez Uriarte and Manuel Garcia Simental
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Above: Reydel Lopez Uriarte and Manuel Garcia Simental

Mexican federal police say Reydel Lopez Uriarte, or "El Muletas", and Manuel Garcia Simental, or "El Chiquilin", were the new leaders of a brutal gang in Tijuana. Teodoro Garcia Simental ran that gang before his arrest lat month. He was nicknamed "El Teo".

Mexican federal authorities tie Lopez Uriarte to some of the most brutal drug violence in Tijuana. Among the heinous crimes, they say he delivered bodies to be dissolved in acid.

Authorities estimate Lopez Uriarte had as many as 240 underlings. They were armed with machine guns and outfitted with tactical equipment and uniforms with Lopez Uriarte's "Special Forces" logo.

Lopez Uriarte apparently had three armored cars and three small planes that he used to transport thousands of pounds of marijuana, and the drug known as "ice," to Tijuana.

One of the five Tijuana officers arrested and linked to Lopez Uriarte and Garcia Simental was a commander. The four others were the precinct chiefs and sub-chiefs in charge of two Tijuana neighborhoods.

Authorities also arrested a former Baja California state policeman.

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