Mexican law enforcement officials have arrested Manuel Plancarte Gaspar, 34, a member of the Knights Templar cartel suspected of kidnapping children to harvest their organs.
According to the USA Today, the Knights Templar no longer make the majority of their money from drug trafficking. Instead, “illegal mining, illegal logging and extortion” have become primary sources of income for the group.
Still, Plantcarte Gaspar was captured with both cash and crystal meth when he was arrested in the state of Michoacan on Monday.
Investigators have yet to prove Plantcarte Gaspar or the Knights Templar’s involvement with organ harvesting, but Michoacan’s Public Safety Secretary Carlos Castellanos Becerra claimed that Plantcarte Gaspar was a crucial member of a known kidnapping ring.
“We have several statements in open investigations that point to a network of several suspects who would identify people with certain characteristics, especially children, and kidnap them,” the secretary said.
According to Raw Story, an armed group of vigilante civilians rescued several children from a refrigerated truck that was destined for a “rental home filled with medical equipment” last year. The children, who had all been wrapped tightly in blankets, were all abducted from the same Mexico city school. Police suspect Plantcarte Gaspar's involvement in this incident.
Law enforcement officials in Mexico have yet to release further details regarding the Plantcarte Gaspar investigation. The man, the nephew of high-ranking Knights Templar member Enrique Plancarte Solis, remains in custody until further details emerge.