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Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, Alleged Mexican Drug Lord and Mass Killer, Arrested

Mexican Drug Lord Arturo Gallegos Captured, Admits to Widespread Killing in Ciudad Juarez
Arturo Gallegos Castrellon (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte) (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

MEXICO CITY (CBS/AP) Federal Mexican police have arrested alleged gang leader Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, who they blame for 80 percent of the killings in Ciudad Juarez, just across the border from Texas, since August 2009.

After his capture Saturday, Gallegos, the presumed leader of the "Los Aztecas" who are closely linked with the Juarez cartel and its enforcement arm, reportedly confessed to the assassination of two employees from the U.S. consulate, as well as the murder of 14 youths in Salvacar, reports CNN.

In addition to the mass slayings, Gallegos is accused of distributing weapons and drugs between Mexico and the United States.

The Regional Security Division Chief for Mexico's federal police, Luis Cardenas, explained that the "The Aztecas" is a group that has contributed to the increase in violence in Ciudad Juarez as they seek to control the city, which borders El Paso, Texas.

Police told CNN that surveillance and tips from the public led them to a house occupied by the 32-year-old who is also known as "El Farmero."

He was captured Saturday along with Carlos Rodriguez and Gisela Ornelas as part of an operation to dismantle the Aztecas gang.

During the raid, police seized two assault rifles, two handguns, 228 cartridges for different weapons, and 90 grams of what was believed to be marijuana, says CNN.

More than 31,000 people have been killed in the fighting between rival drug gangs and security forces since Mexico's President Felipe Calderon launched his army-led crackdown on the drug trade after taking office in late 2006.

According to CNN, if Gallegos' claims are accurate, he would be responsible for more than 2,000 murders.