The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Strike Force Group D81 executed a raid at a home in the city of McAllen in South Texas last week, which resulted in the arrest of a high-ranking member of the Gulf Cartel, a notorious drug cartel located throughout Mexico and Central and South America.
Juan Francisco Martinez Ramirez, who is better known to the DEA and fellow drug runners as Comandante Paco and Paco 77, was captured during the raid and faces charges of money laundering after DEA officials were tipped off to his location by one of the lower-ranking members of his cartel.
Authorities maintain that Martinez and the Gulf Cartel are responsible for having established and maintained an expansive drug trafficking network that stretched from Mexico through the Rio Grande Valley.
Martinez is also suspected of being the mastermind behind the smuggling of drug money and guns out of the United States and into Mexico. It is believed that the money was used by Martinez and his cohorts to purchase real estate and luxury vehicles.
This marks the third arrest by the DEA of high-ranking members of the Gulf Cartel over the last few months. Just a few weeks ago agents arrested Orlando Rodriguez Reyes, also known as Comandante Boris, who they allege has acted as the cartel’s primary hit man. Reyes was found with nearly $190,000 in cash in his home in Rio Grande City, Texas.
In early October, DEA agents nabbed Juan Francisco Sanez Tamez, the suspected boss of the Gulf Cartel, while he was on a shopping trip with his family. According to the criminal complaint, Tamez told DEA agents that he supplied Martinez with money to purchase the home in which he was arrested. An unnamed third party was listed as the owner of both homes at which the arrests were made, which agents say is a common tactic among high-end criminals to maintain their anonymity.