DEA: Mexico's Capture of Los Zetas Leader A 'Great Arrest'

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Image: Mexico arrests Zetas leader Omar Trevino Morales
An undated handout photo released by the Mexican General Prosecutor's Office (PGR) on 04 March 2015 shows alleged leader of Los Zetas criminal gang Omar Trevino Morales. Mexican authorities arrested the Trevino early 04 March 2015 in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, official reports said. He was one of the most wanted criminals in both Mexico and the United States, and Mexican authorities had offered a reward of 2 million dollars for information leading to his arrest. Mexican General Prosecutor's Off / EPA

U.S. and Mexican authorities praised the capture and arrest of Omar Trevino Morales, one of the top leaders of the Los Zetas drug cartel that dominated Mexico's northern border with the U.S.

Trevino Morales, who was also known as "Z-42" was arrested in a pre-dawn raid in San Pedro Garza Garcia, a wealthy suburb of Monterrey.

The Mexican government had offered a 30-million peso ($2 million) reward for his capture, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had offered $5 million. DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said "we certainly are excited and congratulate Mexico for another great arrest."

The suspect is the brother of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, described as the most ruthless leader of the cartel. He was arrested in July of 2013. Omar apparently took over leadership of the Zetas - a gang originally formed by deserters from an elite army unit - after his brother's arrest in 2013.

The Zetas were known for their violence, leaving mutilated bodies during their battles with the rival Gulf cartel, though authorities say much of the violence is now due to internal battles among the gangs' factions.

The arrrest follow Friday's capture of Servando "La Tuta" Gomez, the alleged leader of the Knights Templar gang.

Authorities say the Trevino Morales siblings purchased American quarter horses with their laundered proceeds from U.S. drug sales, an operation led by a third brother, Jose Trevino Morales. A Texas jury found him guilty of using $16 million of drug money to buy and train horses around the Southwest.

Image: MEXICO-DRUGS-TREVINO-ARREST
The interior of the house where Omar Trevino Morales, aka "Z-42", alleged leader of Los Zetas drug cartel, was arrested by Federal Police and Army personnel in the San Pedro Garza Garcia community, near Monterrey, Nuevo Leon State, Mexico on March 4, 2015.JULIO CESAR AGUILAR / AFP - Getty Images
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