A transit police officer in Ciudad Juárez was arrested in connection with a double homicide shooting involving potential cartel motives.
Officer Cristian Adán Israel, 34, was arrested by municipal police after a double murder in colonia Juanita Luna on Thursday, according to local reports. The accused officer was apprehended after eyewitnesses provided a description of the Jeep Cherokee he drove. Municipal police reportedly found a 9mm pistol and two matching magazines in his pockets. Police also say they discovered a black backpack in the Jeep, containing three 9mm magazines with 15 rounds each, and two empty .40 caliber magazines, according to an official police bulletin. The handgun, ammunition, and accessories were handed over to forensic personnel of the state attorney general’s office who will attempt to connect the firearm to the murder scene.
Breitbart News law enforcement contacts say local investigators are probing a cartel connection as a motive for the double homicide. Juárez is currently engulfed in a bloody turf war between warring cartels and aligned gangs.
Juárez, which abuts El Paso, Texas, announced the gradual re-deployment of joint police and military patrols to quell cartel violence and enhance local security earlier in December. The joint patrols were initially deployed in late October after police suffered 10 attacks from cartel gunmen in less than one month–leaving two dead and several wounded.
Officials also announced the arrests of two members of a Sinaloa Cartel-aligned gang after they reportedly attempted to commit a murder with a .45 caliber pistol. The pair are suspected in four other homicides in Juárez. Police also announced the arrests of two La Linea/Juarez Cartel-aligned “Los Aztecas” members for possession of a 12-gauge shotgun. Both admitted their engagement in smuggling firearms from El Paso into Juarez, according to authorities. Los Aztecas and “Los Artistas Asesinos” are gangs operating in Mexico and the United States.
The most recent violence is attributed to splits between gangs aligned with warring cartels as they fight for methamphetamine street sales. The “Mexicles” and Artistas Asesinos were previously aligned with the Sinaloa Cartel, yet are now at war with each other after a faction of Mexicles re-aligned with “La Línea” and Los Aztecas. In another area of Juárez, an “Old Guard” faction of Los Aztecas is warring with a newer faction of Aztecas.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org