The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has confirmed that a man killed in a shootout with Juarez police last month was a reputed high-ranking member of the Sinaloa drug cartel.
Jesus Rodrigo "Huichi" Fierro Ramirez was among 24 reputed Sinaloa cartel members indicted last year by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in El Paso.
Fierro, who was on the list of fugitives wanted by the DEA in El Paso, was killed in shootout with Juarez police Jan. 24. He had been sought on racketeering, drug and weapons conspiracy and criminal enterprise charges.
The Juarez Police Department said in a news release that police were responding to calls about shots fired when someone fired at police from the second floor
of a two-story home in the 1000 block on Calle Estancia Santa Fe in Las Estancias neighborhood.
During a 30-minute gunbattle, two police officers were wounded, several police vehicles were hit by bullets, and a fire broke out in the home.
Police eventually rushed the middle-class home and fatally shot a man armed with a .45-caliber handgun.
Juarez police didn't identify the man killed, but some news outlets reported the man was a high-level cartel member. A DEA official confirmed that the man was Fierro.
Fierro, a former Chihuahua state police officer, was "a large scale cocaine distributor in the Garduno cell who is known for his extreme acts of violence," the indictment stated.
The indictment alleged
that Fierro belonged to a cell of the Sinaloa cartel run by Sergio Garduno Escobedo.
Garduno, according to the indictment, is a former Chihuahua state police commander known as "Coma."
Before the Juarez-Sinaloa cartel war, he paid the Juarez cartel a tax on behalf of the Sinaloa cartel to move drugs through Juarez.
The indictment stated that Fierro is the half brother of Arturo Lozano Mendez, alias "Tigre" and "Lynx," a former Juarez police officer who is accused of being Garduno's right-hand man and allegedly manages Garduno's drug warehouses in Juarez.
Lozano and Garduno were also among those indicted last year in the United States.
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