A Mexican drug cartel that recruits members from drug-rehabilitation programs and has religious pretensions was the target of a U.S. law-enforcement sweep that resulted in 303 arrests, the New York Times reported Oct. 23.
A series of 19 raids in the U.S. netted drugs, guns and cash, officials said. The operation targeted the La Familia Michoacána drug gang, which started out as a vigilante group against drug gangs in the Mexican state of Michoacan but ultimately got into trafficking itself.
The newest and most violent of Mexico’s five main drug cartels, the group nonetheless has a religious bent — requiring members to carry Bibles and attend church — and is known to scour addiction rehabilitation programs in Michoacan state for new members.
U.S. officials said the raids seriously disrupted the cartel’s operations.