Tue, Jul 17, 2012 - Page 7 News List

Alleged leader of Mexico airport shootout captured

POLICING THE POLICE:Bogard Lugo is the alleged ringleader of a group of police smuggling cocaine, and allegedly killed three officers when confronted

Reuters, MEXICO CITY

Mexican federal police announced on Sunday the capture of the alleged ringleader of a group of police officers implicated in a drugs-related, deadly shootout with other officers in Mexico City’s international airport last month.

A shackled Bogard Lugo, one of three officers suspected of involvement in the killing of three fellow federal police on June 25 in an airport food court, was presented at a press conference at police headquarters.

Police said Lugo was captured early on Sunday morning in a neighborhood in the southern part of the capital, following an anonymous tip received on Friday.

Lugo and the two other suspects, identified as Zeferino Morales and Daniel Cruz, both of whom remain at large, are believed to be part of a larger group of officials involved in a cocaine smuggling ring at the airport.

The June 25 shootout in Terminal 2, which handles international and domestic flights, occurred when the three federal officers confronted Morales and Cruz in the food court a few minutes after an alleged drug deal.

Police say Morales and Cruz then fired at the officers.

Two of the officers were pronounced dead at the scene and the third died of his injuries in a hospital.

The two alleged gunmen immediately fled the airport, along with a man believed to be Lugo, whom police have described as the group’s ringleader.

A police spokesman said on Sunday that a 5 million peso (US$374,700) reward was available for information leading to the capture of the two remaining suspects.

The shootout was a major embarrassment for the government of outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who has put the federal police at the heart of a five-and-a-half-year-long offensive against drug cartels.

More than 55,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico during that time.

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