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Mexican Police Nab Suspected Drug Trafficker - 2001-08-24

Mexican police have captured a Colombian drug trafficker believed to have been involved with the Tijuana, Mexico-based cartel run by the Arellano-Felix brothers. It appears that the arrest is one more case in which U.S.-Mexico cooperation has helped deal a blow to the powerful criminal organization.

The announcement of the successful operation came from Mexican Attorney General Rafael Macedo de la Concha. He said a joint federal police and military operation in the state of Quintana Roo Wednesday night had resulted in the arrest of several suspects and the confiscation of several properties.

He said the main catch was suspected Colombian drug trafficker Gino Brunetti, who was apprehended at the Cancun airport. According to investigators, he had gone there to pick up his former mother-in-law and his daughter, who were coming to join him at the resort for a vacation.

The Mexican Attorney General says Mr. Brunetti has served as the principle provider of cocaine for the Arellano-Felix crime organization, which is one of the main suppliers of cocaine to the U.S. market. Brothers Javier, Ramon and Benjamin Arellano-Felix are wanted in both Mexico and the United States for drug trafficking, money laundering and murder.

Mr. Macedo de la Concha says the arrest was the direct result of intelligence supplied by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration under an operation carried out by the United States, Mexico and Colombia.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, police in Colombia announced the arrest of Felix Antonio Chitiva, who is accused of being one of that country's top drug smugglers.