José Armando C, alias El Chalán, is sentenced to 29 years as another Familia Michoacana member gets 15 years

José Armando C, alias El Chalán, and José Q face heavy sentences as the Mexican authorities confirm the death of former leader Lalo Mantecas

In a significant blow to the Familia Michoacana, a notorious criminal syndicate operating across various parts of Mexico, José Armando “C,” also known by his alias “El Chalán,” has been sentenced to 29 years in prison. According to a report released by the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) on October 28, El Chalán was convicted of organized crime, specifically kidnapping, and illegal imprisonment of four individuals.

He was also fined 127,575 pesos and is currently incarcerated at the “El Oro” Preventive Center for Social Readaptation in the State of Mexico.

El Chalán’s capture occurred on the Ixtlahuaca-Jilotepec highway near Rincón Bucio. “This person is attributed to belonging to a criminal organization whose purpose was to commit kidnapping crimes, operating in the State of Mexico, Queretaro, and Michoacan,” stated the FGR.

La Familia Michoacana operates in various parts of the country (Photo: Infobae México / Archivo)
La Familia Michoacana operates in various parts of the country (Photo: Infobae México / Archivo)

Another Player Off the Chessboard

Alongside the conviction of El Chalán, the institution led by Alejandro Gertz Manero announced another significant development. José “Q” was sentenced to 15 years in prison after a fast-track procedure. Unlike El Chalán, whose criminal activities were primarily kidnapping and illegal detention, José “Q” was convicted for possession with the intent to distribute marijuana and other crimes against public health.

He was apprehended in April 2022 with seven firearms, ammunition, almost 40 kilograms of marijuana, multiple uniforms resembling those of authorities, and 18 telephones. José “Q” faced additional charges for carrying firearms while being accompanied by a group and for possessing unauthorized uniforms of the Armed Forces. The arrest was carried out by the National Guard, the Michoacán Prosecutor’s Office, and the Specialized Unit to Combat Kidnapping (UECS).

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José "Q" had uniforms from the authorities when he was arrested (Photo: FGR).
José “Q” had uniforms from the authorities when he was arrested (Photo: FGR).

Family Ties: Arrest of a Leader’s Offspring

In a separate but related incident, Eduardo “N,” alias “El Pelón,” was taken into custody on October 29. As the son of the late Medardo Hernández Vera, known as Lalo Mantecas, El Pelón is no small fish in the underworld; his father was a former leader of the Familia Michoacana. Eduardo “N” was arrested at a restaurant in a hotel situated in the Santa María Magdalena Ocotitlán neighborhood. He is accused of extortion, allegedly threatening an individual with harm unless a ransom was paid.

Confirming the Death of a Former Leader

Adding another layer to the intricate web of Familia Michoacana’s operations, the death of Lalo Mantecas, initially shrouded in ambiguity, was confirmed this year. Although early accounts and even images of a funeral had circulated, official confirmation came from Ricardo Mejia Berdeja, the then Undersecretary of Public Security.

During a conference with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, he stated, “An individual nicknamed ‘Lalo Mantecas’ was executed, who is also a member of this group [Familia Michoacana], and the first investigations indicate that it was a dispute within the same criminal cell.”

Son of Familia Michoacana leader arrested (Photo: FGJEM)
Son of Familia Michoacana leader arrested (Photo: FGJEM)

The recent convictions and arrests mark a major crackdown on the Familia Michoacana, weakening its operational capacity and leadership structure. The authorities, while reticent about divulging specific details, have signaled that the law is closing in on this sprawling criminal network.