The U.S. Coast Guard captured drug kingpin Francisco Javier Arellano-Felix deep-sea fishing off Baja California, beheading one of Mexico’s most powerful and murderous drug cartels, the Houston Chronicle reports. Ten other suspected members of the organization, which is run by the 10 Arellano-Felix siblings, were also detained. “We feel like we’ve taken the head off the snake,” said Michael Braun, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent. “We’ve got this brutal organization in a chokehold, and we’re not letting up.”
The arrests were part of a “very long, very complex” undercover operation spanning 14 months. “Javier was one of the most ruthless thugs that was involved in drug trafficking around the world,” Braun said. U.S. officials charge the crime family with smuggling tons of cocaine and other drugs across the border into the U.S., much of it through elaborate underground tunnels near Tijuana.