Mexican police have captured alleged drug lord Carlos Beltran Leyva, just two week after his even more powerful brother was killed in a shootout with troops - back-to-back victories in President Felipe Calderon's drug war.
The Public Safety office said in a statement Saturday night that Carlos Beltran Leyva was arrested in Culiacan, the capital of the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa, where he and several of his brothers were born and allegedly started their gang.
Two weeks ago, his brother Arturo, reputed chief of the Beltran Leyva Cartel,in the central city of Cuernavaca.
Mexican officials in the past have described Carlos Beltran as a key member of the gang, but it was unclear if he took over as chief of the cartel after his brother died. A third brother, Alfredo Beltran Levya, was arrested in January 2008.
Another brother, Mario Beltran Leyva, is still at large and listed as one of Mexico's most wanted alleged drug lords.
Carlos Beltran Leyva, 40, was carrying a false driver's license identifying him as Carlos Gamez Orpineda when he was arrested by federal police Wednesday, the Public Safety Department said. He later acknowledged he was Arturo Beltran Leyva's brother, the department said.
The statement said there had been an arrest warrant for Carlos Beltran Leyva since 2008. He was found with two guns and ammunition, the statement said.
Public Safety officials said there would be no immediate comment beyond the statement.
The Beltran Leyva brothers worked side by side with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, before they broke away after Gulf Cartel leader Osiel Cardenas was arrested in 2003. They soon seized the lucrative drug routes in northeastern Mexico.
U.S. officials say the Beltran Leyva Cartel has carried out heinous killings, including numerous beheadings. The gang also has had great success in buying off public officials, police and others to protect their business and get tips on planned military raids.