Mexican marines on Monday arrested the Zetas drug cartel’s notorious leader, Miquel Trevino Morales, swooping down in a helicopter as his truck traveled near the border city of Nuevo Laredo, reports the San Antonio Express-News. Treviño Morales, considered a merciless killer behind thousands of slayings and a criminal mastermind who rose to power over the gang’s founding members, was caught with a bodyguard, an accountant eight rifles and $2 million in cash, Mexican officials said.
The drug kingpin is wanted for a host of crimes in Mexico, including the deaths of nearly 300 immigrants in the northern town of San Fernando. Trevino Morales is wanted in the United States on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering and murder. The U.S. government has offered a $5 million reward for Trevino Morales, and the Mexican government $2 million. Known by his radio call sign “El 40,” or “Cuarenta” in Spanish, Trevino Morales went from a small-time criminal to the head of the Zetas, a gang of hit men started by members of Mexican military special operations forces.