TIJUANA – State authorities have arrested the alleged leader of a criminal cell who is linked to killing of police officers.
They called Edgar Vicente Escobar Rodríguez, alias “El Diablo,” a key figure in the war among drug groups in the period of 2008 to 2010, which left more than 2,300 people dead and dozens missing.
Escobar Rodríguez, 27, was detained Saturday in the Industrial neighborhood in Mexicali, along with another
member of his cell while they were traveling in a stolen BMW and carrying a .45 firearm and ammunition of varying calibers, according to the state police department known as PEP.
“El Diablo is a dangerous criminal who was rising in the ranks and who, despite having spent time in a detention center, had come out and continued his unlawful career,” the department said in a statement issued Monday.
He has a lengthy record and ties to accused drug trafficker Luis Ramírez Vázquez, alias “El Güero Camarón” (arrested in 2008), and to Víctor Magno Escobar Luna, alias “La Pareja” (arrested in 2007), the department said.
The latter, who is a cousin of Escobar Rodríguez, is a former municipal police officer in Tijuana who is accused of multiple murders, among them of police officers killed between 2003 and 2007.
According to PEP, after Escobar Luna was captured, his cousin inherited his crime business and worked for a criminal cell headed by Ramírez Vázquez.
Escobar Rodríguez had been captured previously in Tijuana by the Mexican army in March of 2008, when soldiers found him in possession of a suitcase carrying weapons and ammunitions and 27 cellular phones, PEP said. He was sent to prison, where he served a little more than a year.
According to state Department of Public Safety, Escobar Rodríguez is being investigated for his alleged participation in the murder of police commander Javier Orozco, who was shot to death on March 21, 2008.
He is also linked to various cells which are working for the alleged drug trafficker Armando Villarreal, alias “El Gordo,” who was captured last year.