Roberto Gonzalez Montes: Cartel boss arrested over massacre of 9 moms and children from Mormon family on way to wedding
The massacre, which left nine dead, including three mothers and six children, occurred when a convoy of 17 members of an American family was ambushed as they were driving to a wedding in Sonora
A Mexican man, identified as Roberto Gonzalez Montes, alleged to be the leader of a drug cartel linked to the massacre of a Mormon family in Mexico, has been arrested. The massacre, which left nine dead, including three mothers and six children, occurred when a convoy of 17 members of an American family was ambushed as they were driving to a wedding in Sonora, along the US-Mexico border.
The family members were reportedly traveling in three cars from La Mora on November 4, 2019 when the attack occurred. Gunmen, believed to belong to a drug cartel 'La Linea', reportedly torched a car with the victims inside and even opened fire on one child running away from the scene. Rhonita Miller LeBaron, 30, was killed with her son, 13, daughter, 11, and seven-month-old baby twins. Christina and Dawna Langford, both 43, and two of Dawna's children, Trevor, 11, and Rogan, three, were also killed in the attack.
Personnel from the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime Investigation, the Secretary of National Defense, the Navy, and the National Intelligence Center jointly carried out Montes' arrest. The drug lord, also known by the aliases El Mudo or El 32, was taken to Mexico City, where he is scheduled to be formally charged, according to El Diario. Montes' arrest came as José Lara — a member of a gang working with 'La Linea' was captured in connection with the massacre by security forces in Ciudad Juárez, Rio Grande, earlier this month. The Attorney General's Office had announced the arrest of the suspect, who is accused of being "a member of a criminal organization with a presence in the north of the country," according to reports. Lara has also been charged with homicide, attempted homicide, and involvement "with organized crime for the purpose of committing crimes against health."
Reports state that the family members, who were dual US-Mexico citizens, were heading to celebrate a wedding anniversary when the assault occurred. Some of the young children in the cars managed to escape and hide by the roadside while one of the mothers was shot in the chest as she put her hands up to surrender, according to the outlet. Relatives of the victims fear that some of the victims may have been raped. Rhonita Maria LeBaron was driving to Phoenix on Monday with her four children to pick up her husband and return to Mexico to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Her car had reportedly broken down when gunmen opened fire and torched the vehicle, killing her, her six-month-old twins, Titus and Tiana, her 10-year-old daughter Krystal and 12-year-old son Howard. Several other family members were also gunned down eight miles away in different attacks. Alex LeBaron, who said he lost family members in the attack, told CNN at the time: "Women and children were massacred, burnt alive. Mothers were screaming for the fire to stop."
Montes is the 14th person to have been arrested by Mexican authorities after last year's massacre. Police have reportedly also issued warrants for ten more people for charges of homicide. None of them have yet been apprehended.