The Tijuana Cartel is one of the three large Mexican drug cartels, along with The Gulf Cartel and the Juárez Cartel. It is well known for its employment of enforcers recruited from Mexican and Los Angeles street gangs. In addition to enforcers, many Latin American street gangsters were trained to become assassins in the cartel, which has a reputation for extreme brutality and violence. At its height in the late 1990s, the cartel was believed to be responsible for supplying nearly half the cocaine sold in the United States.
The gang made headlines in January 2006 after it was discovered they had dug tunnels from Tijuana, Baja California, into the United States at Otay Mesa, California.
Capture and prosecutionEdit
Arellano Félix, nicknamed "El Tigrillo" (Little Tiger) and also "El Titi", was captured by the coastguardsmen aboard the USCGC Monsoon on August 16, 2006, while fishing on the Dock Holiday some 25 km off the coast of Baja California Sur, in international waters. Arellano was brought into United States Coast Guard Sector San Diego, by USCG Cutter Petrel, Commanded by Master Chief Petty Officer M. Martin. The Drug Enforcement Administration had received a tip about his whereabouts. A US$5 million bounty had been offered for his capture, but the information leading to his capture was apparently not from someone seeking the reward. On November 5, 2007, he was sentenced to life in prison, at ADX Florence, after pleading guilty in September 2007 to running a criminal enterprise and laundering money.