MEXICO CITY (AP) — Authorities in Mexico's Baja California state say they have arrested a drug gang hitman who also allegedly ran fish-harvesting operations that have endangered the rare vaquita porpoise.
Baja state police identified the suspect only by his alias, "El Parra," and said he was allied with the Sinaloa drug cartel.
Police said he and two bodyguards were arrested Thursday on a highway with drugs and assault rifles. He had an outstanding warrant for homicide.
Vaquitas have been decimated by nets set for the totoaba fish, whose swim bladder is considered a delicacy in China and commands high prices. Criminals equipped with go-fast boats and apparently allied with drug gangs catch and sell the bladders.
Less than 30 critically endangered vaquitas remain in the Gulf of California, the only place they live.