The State Security Commission (CES) announced the arrest of two individuals suspected of carrying out a grenade and rifle attack on a state police facility in Juárez Wednesday. The incident left one officer wounded with non-life-threatening injuries after being struck by gunfire.
A group of cartel gunmen sprayed rifle fire and tossed two fragmentation grenades at the government installation which houses the command staff of the state police commission at approximately 12:50 am on Wednesday morning, according to local reports. The attack triggered a joint police and military operation to locate and capture the gunmen. A short time later, security elements stopped a Ford vehicle with a Texas license plate and subsequently arrested both occupants later identified as Javier H. R. and Ana G. C., both 19. A search of their vehicle reportedly produced a 9mm pistol. Both were later turned over to the custody of state attorney general’s office. Police also recovered an abandoned Chevrolet in colonia Exhipódromo. The vehicle was reported stolen is also believed used during the attack. A total of nine, 9mm rounds of ammunition were found inside the vehicle.
Investigators at the police station recovered at least 80 spent shell casings and military bomb techs were summoned to collect the two fragmentation grenades that failed to detonate, according to Commander Amiklar Chavez Alarcón, chief of the state police assigned to the installation.
The attack is supposedly related to a threatening narco-banner displayed on Tuesday night near a baseball field, according to local reports. The message made direct threats against Commandante Amiklar Chavez Alarcón, accusing him of working for the Juarez Cartel and presumably signed by “El Chapulin” of the Gente Nueva of the Sinaloa Cartel. Breitbart law enforcement sources also indicated that the Nuevo Cartel de Juárez is making similar threats against local police.
In January, Breitbart News reported that the Secretary of Public Security (SSPM) of Ciudad Juárez Ricardo Realivázquez ordered reinforcements for police facilities after a series of attacks. In one, cartel gunmen assaulted the residence of a police commander–injuring four bodyguards. These attacks resulted in the issuance of a security alert by the United States Consulate General in Juárez, stating: “Authorities believe that members of organized criminal groups are carrying out these attacks, which are expected to continue.” The January 18 alert also notes, “U.S. government personnel have been advised to avoid police stations and other law enforcement facilities in both cities to the extent possible until further notice.”
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.