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Mexico catches aspiring Zetas drug cartel leader

Mexico City: Mexican marines arrested on Monday a senior member of the Zetas drug cartel who sought to take over the gang after its leader was captured earlier this month, authorities said.

Ramiro Perez Moreno, 34, was detained without a shot fired in Nuevo Laredo, a city in Tamaulipas state bordering Texas, along with four men carrying guns, a grenade, cocaine and marijuana, the government said in a statement.

Perez Moreno was one of Mexico`s 122 most wanted criminals and he was identified as the chief of operations for the Zetas in the states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas.

"He hoped to take over the organization" following the arrest of Omar Trevino on March 4, the statement said.

The government said Perez Moreno was linked to crimes in several Tamaulipas towns, turf wars with rival gangs and "actions against the authorities." 

Perez Moreno is accused of orchestrating kidnappings, extortion schemes, human smuggling operations and drug trafficking to the United States.

Trevino was detained outside the northern industrial hub of Monterrey, dealing a major blow to the Zetas, a cartel blamed for some of the most gruesome violence in Mexico`s drug war.

Authorities said following Trevino`s capture that his arrest left the Zetas without a clear leader, opening the possibility of a power struggle. His brother Miguel Angel Trevino, the former leader, was arrested in 2013.