EXCLUSIVE: Cartel Boss Forges Alliances Under House Arrest in Mexican Border State

El Totoy Main
Nuevo Leon Attorney General's Office

A fearsome boss for the Gulf Cartel is working to establish new alliances in Nuevo Leon to solidify control over regional fuel theft schemes and street-level drug sales. All of his activities are reportedly done in the open despite the fact that he is under a second round of house arrest.

Known as “El 90 or El Juanito or Juanillo,” Juan Manuel Hernandez Vasquez leads his sect of the Gulf Cartel despite multiple arrests. Breitbart Texas consulted with U.S. law enforcement sources in Mexico who say Juanito is expanding his influence through new alliances. Most recently, Juanito brokered a temporary partnership with Jonathan Enrique “El Totoy” Gonzalez Rivera, the leader of an independent drug distribution gang pitted against the Cartel Del Noreste (CDN) faction of Los Zetas.

Breitbart Texas has been reporting exclusively on El Totoy, including his recent arrest by detectives with Nuevo Leon’s State Investigations Agency (AEI). That bust put an end to the budding alliance between Juanito and El Totoy.

As Breitbart Texas reported exclusively, El Juanito is the leader of one of the largest fuel theft organizations in Nuevo Leon with protections from authorities. The Gulf Cartel member originally worked in Matamoros, but now runs fuel theft cells in Hidalgo, El Carmen, Salinas Victoria, and Mina in Nuevo Leon. The alliance with El Totoy would have provided Juanito with additional gunmen to fight rivals in return for support against the CDN-Los Zetas, Los Billys, and a second group led by a man known as “Jorge Mazatlán.”

Juanito assumed control of Gulf Cartel operations in Nuevo Leon after the death of his predecessor, Héctor Adrián “La Yegua” Lucio Benavidez. In early 2019, authorities arrested Juanito in an operation targeting the CDG that netted 22 gunmen behind kidnappings in the Monterrey area. Despite the evidence against him and his attempt to bribe authorities, Nuevo Leon State Judge Juan Manuel Cardenas Gonzalez allowed him to await trial under house arrest.

Months later, authorities re-arrested Juanito after catching him with a Glock pistol outside his home. Soon after, his rivals from the CDN-Los Zetas posted a banner warning authorities against releasing El 90. Another judge, Leonel Cisneros Garza, granted a second house arrest.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.     

Tony Aranda from Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report

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