Cartel Capo Arrested in Connection with Cartel Attorney's Southlake Murder

Luis Lauro Ramirez Bautista, also known as "El Mora" is a high-ranking member of the Beltran Leyva cartel.
Luis Lauro Ramirez Bautista, also known as "El Mora" is a high-ranking member of the Beltran Leyva cartel. Mexican Federal Police

Multiple news outlets in Mexico report that another capo of the Beltran Leyva cartel was arrested last week in connection with the murder of narcotics attorney Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa, who’d been hiding out in Southlake, Texas.

Luis Lauro Ramirez Bautista, also known as "El Mora," was arrested Sunday, June 11, in a sting operation in a wealthy suburb in the state of Neuvo Leòn, the National Security Commission in Mexico announced in a statement.

The Mexican federal police and army carried out the operation when two municipal police officers — San Pedro police commander Daniel Camacho and officer Orlando Robledo — were killed after fueling up their police cruiser at a gas station. Ramirez Bautista was arrested for possession of drugs and weapons.

Ramirez Bautista’s arrest was one of several arrests and killings of Beltran Leyva cartel members since the cartel war began in 2010.
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Luis Lauro Ramirez Bautista, also known as "El Mora" is a high-ranking member of the Beltran Leyva cartel.
Mexican Federal Police

The Dallas Observer reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas for comment. Lisa Slimak, a spokesperson for the Northern District of North Texas, said that the office hadn’t filed anything with the court charging Ramirez Bautista.

“We are unable to confirm or deny whether he is under investigation,” she said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Burgess said in March 2016 that Ramirez Bautista helped to finance Rodolfo “El Gato” Villarreal Hernandez’ effort to find and kill Guerrero Chapa, also known as “El Chapa,” over a two year period that ended with the arrest of a private investigator named Jesus Ledezma Cepeda and his cousin Joe Cepeda Cortes, a legal U.S. resident with a green card.

A drug dealer for Ramirez Bautista had reportedly met with the private investigator on four occasions between November 2012 and January 2013 to pay him a total of $38,000 to track down Guerrero Chapa, according to Burgess' account during Ledezma Cepeda's and Cepeda Cortes’ trials in early 2016.

Burgess also said Ramirez Bautista had been stopped at the border in 2011, telling a U.S. border patrol agent that he'd been looking for Guerrero Chapa. Inside his car, he had pictures of Guerrero Chapa's house. Burgess said Ramirez Bautista was trying to enlist the federal government's help to kill Guerrero Chapa when he told Homeland Security Investigations that the attorney needed to be returned to Mexico.

It's unclear why U.S. federal authorities released him.

Cepeda Cortes’ son Joey Cepeda first alerted the Observer to Ramirez Bautista’s arrest Friday. Cepeda has been fighting to clear his father’s name.

“I just hope when the U.S. prosecutor Josh Burgess deals with him, he doesn’t make him get a plea deal to say he knew my dad, which would be a lie,” Cepeda says.
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Christian McPhate is an award-winning journalist who specializes in investigative reporting. He covers crime, the environment, business, government and social justice. His work has appeared in several publications, including the Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Miami Herald, San Antonio Express News and The Washington Times.

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