La Linea Cartel Member Involved in Lebaron Family Massacre Arrested in Chihuahua

“MX” for Borderland Beat

Note to readers: The link to the original November 2019 story is hyperlinked here. Please keep in mind that a lot of the details about the case have changed since it was first reported.

Nine members of the American Mormon family, with the surname LeBarón, were shot and killed by cartel members in Sonora in November 2019.

Earlier this week Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (FGR) captured Alejandro Escarcega Adame, alias ‘El Tocayo‘, ‘El Loco’, and/or ‘El 15’.

Investigators say he is a member of La Linea drug cartel and a primary suspect in the LeBaron family massacre that left 9 people dead in Sonora in November 2019. Adame was imprisoned at the Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 1 (‘Altiplano), Mexico’s maximum-security prison.

The suspect was arrested in Nuevo Casas Grandes, a violent-stricken municipality in western Chihuahua that has been under the control of La Linea for several years.

When the arrest was made, the police immediately notified Adrian LeBaron, the spokesperson on behalf of the LeBaron family. He lost his daughter and six grandchildren in the massacre.

Last February, a federal judge charged Wilbert Mendoza Lopez, alias ‘La Parka’, for his direct participation in the massacre. The FGR already has two other main suspects in custody: Jose Alfredo Lara Ontiveros, alias ‘El Coma Lara’ and/or ‘Pelonete‘; and Roberto Gonzalez Montes, alias ‘El 32’ and/or ‘El Mudo‘.

Gonzalez-Montes is a former police officer who was arrested in 2016 for weapon charges but released shortly thereafter. He was a high-ranking member of La Linea and was responsible for fighting the rival group Gente Nueva, headed by Francisco Arvizu Marquez, alias ‘El Jaguar’. Gonzalez-Montes was arrested in November 2020 for his involvement in the LeBaron massacre.

According to the FGR, over 20 people have been arrested for the massacre. All of them worked for La Linea. As reported by Borderland Beat, there are at least 20 more suspects identified and at large.

Sources: Milenio; El Economista; La Jornada; Borderland Beat archives