Kidnapping Gang Consisting of Cops Arrested in Tijuana

AP File Photo/Guillermo Arias
AP File Photo/Guillermo Arias

A kidnapping gang, which included three Mexican police officers, was busted in Tijuana Tuesday. Three victims were freed in the incident.

Authorities announced the arrests of three police officers — one is a member of the Tijuana municipal police and two others were state cops. Four other members were also captured. The municipal police officer was on duty at the time, according to Tijuana Municipal Police Director Carlos Betancourt Carrillo.

The arrests occurred on Tuesday morning at approximately 5:00 am when municipal police received an anonymous complaint of screams for help in a residence in colonia Artesanal. Police, with the assistance of the Mexican Army, located the house and also heard the cries for help. Authorities entered and located three victims and identified seven kidnappers.

The three victims consisted of a male, his wife, and a 10-year-old daughter. The man’s hands were restrained and displayed signs of torture throughout his body. The wife and child were locked in a separate room.

Director Betancourt Carrillo identified the Tijuana officer as Leonel Castillo Hernández, a two-year veteran of the force. According to the director, the suspected officer requested permission to visit a medical clinic for an injury to his head. It is now believed the wound was sustained during the kidnapping.
The two state police officers were identified as Martín, 30, and Jorge, 29. Authorities typically do not disclose full names of suspects shortly after their arrests. Both state officers were off-duty at the time. The male victim was transported to a medical facility for treatment.

Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce completed work assignments in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year tour in Monterrey, Mexico, for the U.S. Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program. As the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico in charge of the Mexican states of, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas) You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at


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