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Mexico: member of gang in US agent slaying caught

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The Associated Press
Monday, February 28, 2011; 11:19 AM

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican marines have captured a regional boss for the Zetas drug gang that is accused of slaying a U.S. immigration agent, the navy announced Monday.

Navy spokesman Jose Luis Vergara said that suspect Sergio Antonio Mora oversaw Zeta activities in the northern state of San Luis Potosi, where gunmen killed the U.S. agent and wounded another.

Vergara did not say if Mora was involved in the Feb. 15 attack that killed Jaime Zapata and wounded Victor Avila, both agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

But he said that Mora, known as "El Toto," was the boss of Julian Zapata Espinoza, who was arrested last week and allegedly confessed that he took part in the shooting.

Mora and five other suspects, including a Honduran man, were detained Sunday at a hotel in Saltillo, capital of the northern state of Coahuila.

Much of northeastern Mexico has seen an increase in bloodshed as the Zetas battle their former allies in the Gulf cartel for control of drug trafficking and other criminal activity. Mexican authorities say Zapata Espinoza told them the two agents were attacked because they were mistaken for members of the rival cartel.

Vergara said Mora also is suspected in the February killing of Manuel Farfan, a retired army general who recently had become police chief in Nuevo Laredo, the city across the border from Laredo, Texas.

Federal police on Sunday also detained another alleged Zetas member, Luis Miguel Rojo, 27, in San Luis Potosi state. They did not said if he played a role in the attack on the U.S. agents.



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