Headline — 12 February 2013
Chetumal drug sting nets US$1 million worth of crystal meth

2 Belizeans arrested, along with 6 Mexicans

The Diario Respuesta, of Quintana Roo, Mexico, of Thursday, February 7, reported that two Belizeans, along with Carlos Cabañas Catzin, alias “El Monstruo” of Chetumal, who the article describes as a “drug lord,” were arrested the evening of Thursday, February 7, in Chetumal, Mexico, along with five other people for possession of 45 kilograms of the synthetic drug known as crystal meth.

According to reports, 45 kilograms of suspected crystal meth amounted to about 50 thousand doses ready for distribution and retail marketing.

Belizeans Ermelindo Vasquez of Orange Walk and Hugo Casanova of Corozal; Catzin, described as “Mexican drug lord of The Pelones in Chetumal;” and the other five people, suspected members of organized crime, reportedly were captured in Catzim’s home by Mexican Naval Marines during a sting operation.

The drugs were valued at approximately 11 million pesos (the equivalent of USD $1,000,000.) The drugs were found grouped into bags, and these in turn were found in several refrigerators.

According to the Diario Respuesta, members of Mexico’s Navy, along with other federal agencies, planned their raid on Thursday afternoon. It appears that the Mexican police did not participate in the raid.

At approximately 5:50 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, two vans filled with Naval members belonging to the 25th Battalion Marines arrived at the home of Carlos Cabanas Catzin on Avenida Benito Juarez.

The marines, all dressed in civilian clothing, approached the house, which was the sign for their companions to begin deploying throughout the next two blocks and stopping traffic from entering Avenida Benito Juarez.

According to Diario Respuesta, “authorities claim the people found were Carlos Cabañas Catzin, aka “The Monster,” his brother Nestor Alberto Catzin Cabañas, Luis Juarez Lopez, Alejandro Lugo Courtenay, Fabiola Juarez Lopez and Rosa Patricia Morales Olan, of Mexican nationality, and Hugo Casanova (of Calcutta, Corozal) and Ermelindo Vázquez (of Orange Walk), of Belizean nationality.”

At around 6:30 p.m., a group of marines left the residence, taking with them two women and six men; they boarded a military vehicle and were taken to the headquarters on Avenida Insurgentes and Emiliano Zapata in Chetumal.

Tenants who rented apartments in a building adjacent to the house were evicted in order to prevent any civilian casualties.

In addition, three vehicles were also confiscated, including a silver-gray 2500 Dodge Ram pickup with license plate number CP-09846, registered in Campeche, which was parked on the opposite side, outside Catzin’s house; a gray, older Nissan pickup with license plate number TB-45853, registered in Quintana Roo; and a silver-gray Renault Clio compact car, with license plate number ZAF-6988, registered in Yucatan.

The Diario Respuesta also revealed that: “Naval Zone XI confirmed the arrest of the major drug dealer for The Pelones in the southern state of Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Catzin Carlos Cabañas, who was the chief in place in the Riviera Maya.”

It is the first major hit to be performed during the command of Vice Admiral General Corps Staff Graduate Arturo Fernando Castanon Zamacona, of the Eleventh Naval District, based in Chetumal.

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