Reputed Tijuana drug kingpin Teodoro "El Teo" Garcia Simental was arrested Tuesday in a fishing city Tuesday on the Baja California peninsula, Mexican and U.S. officials said.
The officials say Garcia Simental was arrested in La Paz in the southern part of the peninsula. He is the second alleged major drug lord to be taken down in less than a month by President Felipe Calderon's government.
Neither the U.S. nor the Mexican official was authorized to give a name for publication.
Garcia is listed among Mexico's 24 most-wanted drug lords and the government had offered $2.1 million for information leading to his arrest.
His gang is blamed for much of Tijuana's bloodshed, which spiked after the Arellano Felix cartel split into warring factions following the arrest of Benjamin Arellano Felix and the death of his brother, Raul.
Officials say Garcia was a cartel lieutenant who broke away to form his own gang.
Officials on both sides of the border say he was zealous in killing street-corner peddlers as he tried to solidify his control of eastern Tijuana.
Garcia is believed to be allied with the Sinaloa cartel, run by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, according to an army document dated February 2009.
His arrest comes on the heels of another triumph for Calderon's drug war. Mexican marines killed reputed kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva on Dec. 16 during a raid on an apartment complex in Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City.
Federal officials on Jan. 2 arrested his brother Carlos Beltran Leyva in another blow to the gang.
Calderon's government has sent more than 45,000 troops to drug hotspots to confront the cartels. Cartels have responded with a vengeance, unleashing unprecedented killings. More than 15,500 people have died from drug violence since 2006. The government says most of the dead are smugglers.
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