Cartel Hitman Suspected in 21 Narco-Killings Captured in Mexican Border City of Juarez

Bruno Angel Rangel, alias “El Bruno”
Photo: Juarez Police Department

A large police operation in Juarez, Mexico, led to the capture of the former leader of “Los Azteca’s” criminal gang, turned member of the armed wing of the Juarez Cartel, “’La Línea.” The Municipal Police of the border city of Juarez carried out the operation during the early morning hours of May 24, 2018.

The Secretary of Public Security for Ciudad Juarez announced the capture of the suspect identified as Bruno Angel Rangel, alias “El Bruno” who at one time was a leader of “Los Azteca’s” criminal gang and later became a member of “La Línea.” The move caused a split between the former allies and lead to a turf war over the valuable street sales market, local media outlets reported. This turf war has been blamed for the recent spike in cartel killings in and around Ciudad Juarez. “El Bruno” is suspected of participating in or ordering the killings of at least 21 of his former criminal gang members as well as the wounding of four others.

More than 100 elements of the municipal police developed intelligence during investigations of several arrests for drug seizures and homicides that directly identified “El Bruno” as the main suspect for the alarming spike in cartel killings in the last month, according to the Secretary for Public Security.

The arrest operation of “El Bruno” took place in colonia El Barreal and produced an arsenal of 46 high-capacity weapons, including a .50 caliber Barret rifle and four gold-plated AK-47’s. “El Bruno” was allegedly going to use the weapons for more killings. Investigators also found a small quantity of cocaine and marijuana.

According to investigators, “El Bruno” was a hardened Azteca gang member who had climbed the ranks of the criminal group. He eventually lead several criminal cells of the gang but later switched his allegiance over to the armed wing of the Juarez Cartel— “La Linea.”

The capture of “El Bruno” comes at a time when Juarez has seen a spike in cartel killings like what was experienced in 2012. Local media reported that in the month of May of this year, there have been 91 homicides registered and the last time Juarez has seen this number in the month of May was in 2012.

After the capture of “El Bruno”, an additional five homicides were registered yesterday in Juarez. Those include two victims murdered and later identified as being members of Artistas Asesinos. The victims are affiliated with the Sinaloa cartel. Both victims were guarding a safe house when they were attacked by multiple gunmen and investigators later found a quantity of methamphetamine, para-military equipment, uniforms, as well as ammo.

Breitbart Texas has reported extensively on the cartel violence in the border state of Chihuahua and recently reported on the capture of Carlos Arturo Quintana, “El 80,” the leader of “La Línea”–one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives.

Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at


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