Erick Valencia Salazar, alias “El 85”, CJNG’s alleged leader, was arrested

Erick “N” was arrested along with Cristian Alberto “N” and José Luis “N,” all located after monitoring their movements and studying the least dangerous moment for their capture, according to the Secretariat of National Defense in Mexico.

On Tuesday, September 6, the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) reported the arrest of Erick “N,” the alleged co-founder and operator of a criminal group based in Jalisco.

This subject has been identified as Erick Valencia Salazar, alias “El 85,” the alleged founder of the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG). He was mentioned in a document released by the US Department of State in their Narcotics Rewards Program (NRP) as one of the most wanted drug traffickers in the United States. According to DEA, “El 85” is the alleged person responsible for the importation of cocaine into Mexico

The arrest was achieved thanks to the work of the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) and the General Directorate of International Police Affairs (Interpol Mexico) during an operation carried out on September 4 in Tapalpa, Jalisco.

“The planned actions were carried out by personnel of the Mexican Army and the National Guard through surveillance patrols, achieving the arrest in flagrante delicto of Erick ‘N’, with two more people,” the Mexican authorities reported.

The following were seized from these three individuals:

  • Nearly 1,000 tablets of possible fentanyl
  • Nearly 750 grams of probable methamphetamine
  • Four handguns
  • Four magazines
  • One 5.56 mm rifle
  • Various cartridges
  • Various doses of likely cocaine

The persons and the seized material were handed over to the competent authorities to conduct the necessary studies to determine the quantity and type of drugs and the characteristics of the weapons.

Finally, the authorities assured Erick “N” had an arrest warrant from the United States government for extradition purposes.

Erick Valencia Salazar was condemned and arrested in the past

This is not the first time “El 85” was captured by the Mexican authorities, but he was subsequently released without spending the whole due time in jail.

On March 9, 2012, Valencia Salazar was arrested by members of the Mexican Armed Forces in a residence in Zapopan, Jalisco, after a violent confrontation. After spending five years in prison, “El 85” was acquitted of all charges and released by a federal judge who ruled that there was a lack of evidence and due process violations, allowing him to leave the Altiplano maximum security prison on December 29, 2017.

From that day on, Valencia Salazar announced that he would fight against his former partner and now rival, Oseguera Cervantes “El Mencho,” for drug control in Guadalajara.

To fight back, “El85” allied himself with Carlos Sánchez Martínez, alias “El Cholo”, founder of the Nueva Plaza Cartel; but he also has the support of the Sinaloa Cartel, which gave him the weapons so that they could recover the plazas of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Colima, Nayarit and Michoacan.

“El 85” was, in practice, the substitute for “El Chapo” in the criminal organization chart since the escapes weakened the Sinaloa Cartel, recaptures, and extradition of its leader. Leaving this way clear to “El Mencho” to advance in the control of the drug market in the Mexican territory.