Mexico nabs two more suspects in US agent slaying



Associated Press

Posted on February 27, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 27 at 10:26 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities on Sunday arrested two alleged members of the Zetas drugs cartel they say are linked to the killing of a U.S. immigration agent, including a boss of the man suspected of carrying out the killing.

Mexican marines in the northern city of Saltillo arrested Sergio Mora, an alleged regional leader of the Zetas, and five others, the navy said in a brief statement.

Mora is boss of Julian Zapata Espinoza, who was arrested last week and is accused of fatally shooting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata and wounding fellow agent Victor Avila in the Feb. 15 attack, the navy said. The statement gave no other details.

Also Sunday, Mexican federal agents arrested Luis Rojo, known as "Red Bear," an alleged member of the Zetas also linked to the killing of the ICE agent, the Safety Department said in a statement.

Federal police arrested Rojo, 27, in the northern state of San Luis Potosi, where the attack took place on a highway linking Mexico City to the northern city of Monterrey.

Rojo has links to Jesus Rejon, a lieutenant in the Zetas drug cartel who has also been mentioned as a suspect, the department said.

Neither official statement specified how the suspects were involved in the attack on the U.S. agents, besides saying that Mora gave orders to Zapata Espinoza and that Rojo was suspected of handling the cartel's finances in the region.

Federal agents and soldiers raided seven homes in the state of San Luis Potosi and four in the border city of Nuevo Laredo as part of the investigation into the attack against Zapata and Avila, the department said.

When soldiers arrested Zapata Espinoza — known by the nickname "El Piolin," or Tweety Bird, apparently because of his short stature — he allegedly told authorities that he and a group of gunmen from the Zetas mistook the ICE agents' SUV for one used by a rival gang.