The leader of the Knights Templar drugs cartel in Mexico, Servando Gomez, has been arrested by Federal Police (SSP) in Mexico.
Gomez, commonly referred to as ‘La Tuta’ (The Teacher), was captured by authorities in Morelia, the capital of the central Mexican state of Michoacán.
No shots were fired during the operation.
Gomez, a 49-year-old former school teacher, is believed to have been one of the founder members of drug cartel La Familia Michoacana in the 1980s, before going on to establish rival offshoot the Knights Templar in 2010.
The Knights Templaer sized control of Michoacán from La Familia Michoacana in a bloody turf war, and has since grown to dominate the lucrative methamphetamine trade across Mexico, and gained political power in Michoacán through extortion, intimidation and coercion of political and business leaders.
Gomez was a major target of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s push to regain control of Michoacán, and had a $2m (£1.3m) bounty on his head.
Gomez craved the limelight, and saw himself as a modern day Ernesto “Che” Guevara, fighting for the people against the corruption in government, often describing the Knights Templar as a “necessary evil” rather than a very profitable criminal enterprise.
It is unclear who will take Gomez’s place as leader of the Knights Templar, but previous decapitations of crime families has resulted in increased violence as members of the group fight for control.
Gomez’s arrested comes a year after the capture of another of Mexico’s most prominent crime bosses, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, of the Sinaloa Cartel.