Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

In Mexico, Fake Security Firm Was Used to Recruit For Cartel

by Associated Press / / Source: Associated Press
Image: Mexico's flag flutters next to the Metropolitan Cathedral at Zocalo Square in Mexico City
Mexico's flag flutters next to the Metropolitan Cathedral at Zocalo Square in Mexico City, Mexico August 26, 2015.HENRY ROMERO / Reuters

MEXICO CITY -- A state prosecutor in western Mexico says authorities broke up a fake private security company that was used to recruit for a drug cartel.

Jalisco state prosecutor Jesus Eduardo Almaguer said 13 people were arrested, including a U.S. woman who allegedly led the recruitment effort from the Pacific resort of Puerto Vallarta.

Almaguer said flyers with a phone number and email address were distributed offering rapid career advancement, salaries higher than those paid by government security agencies and year-end bonuses. Recruits were given a week of weapons training using paintball guns.

Authorities discovered the scheme when one recruit tried to leave and was held for a ransom of 1 million pesos ($55,500). His family called authorities.

Almaguer told reporters Wednesday that the recruits were required to make street-level drug sales.

Follow NBC News Latino on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

MORE FROM news