Mexico arrests ‘mastermind’ of 2019 killings of women and children with Utah ties
(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) A child rides his bike past caskets of children killed in northern Mexico following the funeral for Maria Rhonita Miller and four of her children in La Mora, Sonora, Mexico on Thursday Nov. 7, 2019. The children are Howard Jacob Jr., 12; Krystal Bellaine, 10; Titus Alvin Miller, 8 months; and his twin sister, Tiana Gricel.
• Mexico’s army and federal prosecutors said Wednesday they have arrested the purported mastermind of the killings a year ago of three women and six children
from a well-known Mexican-American family, the LeBaróns
, on a rural road in the northern state of Sonora.
The suspect was identified only by his first name, “Roberto,” in line with Mexican law against incrimination.
The agencies said the suspect was arrested Monday along with two other men near the town of Nuevo Casas Grandes in the northern border state of Chihuahua. They had two rifles, three pistols and marijuana in their vehicle, officials said.
The three men were described as members of a drug cartel, but the agencies did not say which one. However, in the past, officials have attributed the killings to the Juarez cartel or its offshoot La Linea gang.
A total of 17 suspects have now been arrested in the November 2019 ambush killings.
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Landau wrote in his Twitter account that the arrests represented “excellent cooperation between the authorities of both countries,” though he did not say what role the United States played.
“There will be justice!” Landau wrote.
The mostly bilingual American-Mexicans have lived in northern Mexico for decades and consider themselves Mormons, though they are not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.