Mexican federal police on Friday captured Gulf drug cartel member Jaime Gonzalez, one of the country's most-wanted men, after a shoot out near the U.S.-Mexico border, police said, according to Reuters.
Gonzalez, known as "The Hummer," and indicted in the United States last year for cocaine smuggling, was caught in the city of Reynosa close to McAllen, Texas.
Gunmen tried to rescue him as troops drove to Reynosa airport to fly him to Mexico City, setting off a fierce gun battle. Police fought off the escape attempt and transferred Gonzalez to the capital under heavily-armed guard.
Gonzalez is a member of the Gulf cartel's armed wing known as the Zetas and is believed to be close to the group's leader Heriberto "The Executioner" Lazcano.
The cartel, based in eastern Mexico, has strong links with Colombian cocaine gangs and buys and packages its drugs in Guatemala before bringing them through Mexico into Texas.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon has sent some 40,000 troops across Mexico to fight drug gangs since taking office in December 2006 but the assault of traffickers has failed to control drug-related violence.
More than 4,000 people have been killed in a war between rival gangs and security forces this year.
The capture follows the arrest last month of Tijuana cartel leader Eduardo Arellano Felix, one of the international traffickers most sought by the United States.
The arrest is unlikely to significantly weaken the Gulf cartel but it may yield crucial intelligence about the powerful gang, known for its brutal beheadings of rivals.