Mexican authorities say they have dealt a blow to a powerful drug cartel by capturing one of its top lieutenants.

Chief Army spokesman General Ricardo Trevilla told reporters Monday that Felipe Cabrera Sarabia was captured Friday in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state.

Cabrera was present and flanked by guards at Monday's news conference in Mexico City.

Trevilla told reporters that Cabrera was a top aide to the head of a Sinaloa drug cartel, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. He said Cabrera's capture deals a blow to the cartel, adding that Cabrera rose through the ranks by using violence against his rivals.

Trevilla said officers confiscated documents and computer equipment when they arrested Cabrera.

Mexican officials say more than 45,000 people have been killed since President Felipe Calderon began cracking on drug cartels in 2006.