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Mencho’s son-in-law is alleged to be the CJNG figure who ordered the threats against the Sinaloa Cartel corrido band Grupo Arriesgado in Baja California. 

An interrogation of a hitman revealed how the CJNG trains and maneuvers hitmen from out-of-state to carry out attacks, and video from the incident exposed how an FGE agent acted as bodyguards for the Mayo-affiliated Grupo Arriesgado. 

Group Arriesgado Attacker Arrested

On February 10, 2023, cartel hitmen fired shots into the air during an autograph signing event for the narco-ballad band Grupo Arriesgado at Plaza 2000 in Tijuana, Baja California.

The gunfire was allegedly intended to intimidate the band, and in particular, its lead singer Arturo Gonzalez, into canceling an upcoming concert. For more details about the series of attacks which ultimately led the group to cancel their concert, please see this previous story.

Here’s what’s new: The weekly magazine Zeta Tijuana revealed that on the same day of the attack at Plaza 2000, police officers arrested one of the hitmen. The arrest of this hitman was kept secret and not made public until February 20, ten days after it occurred. 

According to Zeta, soldiers from the National Guard and officers from the state police were the first to arrive at Plaza 2000 after the gunshots rang out. Those security forces were tasked with securing the area and guarding Grupo Arriesgado. Municipal police officers were the ones tasked with collecting evidence and searching for the suspects. The officers discovered an abandoned handgun, a black 9mm pistol, on the ground of the plaza. Officers then reviewed security footage, focusing on the area where the handgun was found. They managed to spot the man who dropped the firearm. They then traced his movements within the plaza and discovered that he was working in coordination with three other men.

All four of the men arrived at and left from the plaza in two white vehicles, one a white Nissan Sentra, the other a white Chevy Tahoe pickup truck. The footage was then reviewed, focusing on the movements of the vehicles. Investigators found that the white Sentra had fled towards the Francisco Villa neighborhood. 

An all points bulletin (APB) was put out for the white Sentra and officers in the area quickly spotted the vehicle. They gave chase and the white Sentra tried to lose them, speeding up, with hitmen still inside. 

The car chase ended on Casa Blanca Boulevard in the residential subdivision of El Dorado. The white Sentra came to a sudden stop and three hitmen jumped out, running in different directions. 

Officers only managed to catch and arrest one, 30-year-old José Alejandro Ávila Méndez. 

Prosecutors determined that there was not enough physical evidence tying Ávila Méndez to the Plaza 2000 shooting so he was brought up on minor drug possession charges. 

Hitman Says The Order Came from Mencho’s Son-in-Law

Investigators interviewed the hitman José Alejandro Ávila Méndez about the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) higher-up who gave them the order to carry out there attack.

Ávila Méndez said that seven months earlier, he and his fellow hitmen, had been sent by the CJNG to train at two ranches –  one ranch located in Guadalajara, Jalisco, another ranch located in Zacatecas. 

He said there the CJNG trained them in the shooting/handling of firearms, conducting assault operations, entering/clearing buildings and how to force people out of their cars. 

He and his men were then sent to Baja California. Ávila Méndez later received a call from Christian Fernando Gutiérrez Ochoa, the son-in-law of Nemesio Oseguera “El Mencho”, who offered him a job:

Either prevent the lead singer, Arturo Gonzalez, from performing at the February 11 concert or kill Arturo if he did perform.

If they accomplished this task, Avila Mendez would be paid $2000 USD and his hitmen would be paid $1000 USD. If they were unable to complete the task, they would be paid nothing.

Avila Mendez acknowledged that they were not the only CJNG group which were offered this assignment, saying “we know they sent more people.”

The CJNG coordinated with Avila Mendez, giving him access to a vehicle which he would then use to pick up his men at an Oxxo gas station and drive them to Plaza 2000. 

After the shooting, the hitmen snuck away to a different location, where they were picked up and driven away. 

Avila Mendez said that if he and his men were successful, the CJNG planned to quickly move them out of Baja California and back to their home state, which is not specified in the Zeta article.

Avila Mendez was later released from police custody because a judge determined there was a technical error in the manner in which he was arrested. 

So, apparently the CJNG attacks which intimidated Grupo Arriesgado were not perpetrated by some local CJNG cell but instead the order came from Christian Fernando Gutiérrez Ochoa, Mencho’s son-in-law. 

Christian Fernando is believed to be the husband of Laisha Michelle Osegura Gonzalez, Mencho’s younger daughter (not to be confused with his older daughter Jessica, “La Negra”). 

Christian Fernando is the son of cartel boss José Luis Gutiérrez Valencia, alias “Don Chelo”, who is most well known for his parties held in Puente Grande prison. 

Both Christian and Laisha were allegedly involved in the November 2021 kidnapping of two Marines in Jalisco, an abduction done as retaliation for the arrest of Laisha’s mother, Rosalinda. 

For more information please see these previous stories

FGE Agent Was Grupo Arriesgado’s Personal Security Guard

The publications El Vigía and Zeta Tijuana both wrote about a video posted by user ItzelCaballero54 which allegedly depicts an investigator from the state Attorney General’s Office (FGR) acting as a personal security for Grupo Arriesgado shortly after the shooting at Plaza 2000. 

The video in question can be seen below. 

The man wearing the red sweatshirt, camo bag, and blue jeans is alleged to be Francisco Martínez Enríquez, an agent of the FGE. It was later revealed that Francisco works in a high level position within the law enforcement organization, acting as chief deputy for the Homicide division. 

Question began to swirl about whether the FGE was sending it’s agents to protect certain narco-corrido groups – groups who, notably, are sometimes directly associated with organized crime figures. Other questions arose about whether Sinaloa Cartel associates were parking off-duty law enforcement agents to protect them from other cartel groups. 

The state’s Attorney General, Ricardo Carpio Sánchez, addressed the scandal on February 15, saying “The agent in question is indeed from the state Attorney General’s Office. He received a message from event organizers, with whom he has a personal relationship, asking him to come and join in the efforts of the municipal and state police who were already there. It was for this reason, that he was present at that time. This is the explanation that he gave to his superiors.”

Carpio Sánchez added that the agent was penalized by the FGE because the agent did not inform his superiors that he was going to travel to Plaza 2000 and protect the group. The attorney general noted that if the agent has notified his superiors of his participation, they would have allowed his actions.

It’s interesting to note that, according to Zeta Tijuana, FGE agent Martínez Enríquez claims he received a phone call from the businessman Jesus González Lomelí and Tijuana city councilor Alex Cabrera Acosta, who asked him to protect Grupo Arriesgado. 

If this claim is true, it may suggest that these two important Tijuana men are associated with the Mayo faction of the Sinaloa cartel. 

Sources: Zeta Tijuana, AFN Tijuana, El Vigia Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Notizona, PSN en Linea, La Politica Online