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East L.A. man arrested in connection with '98 Baja killings

August 26, 2008 |  9:15 am

Crime_suspectIt was among the most brutal of drug-related crimes ever recorded in Baja California.

According to police, on Sept. 17, 1998, a group of gunmen clad in military gear stormed a ranch in El Sauzal, near Ensenada, and went on a killing spree. They pulled victims from their beds, herded them together and shot them to death, reportedly over a marijuana trafficking dispute. Among the 19 dead were men, women and children ages 2 and 1.

Now U.S. officials have announced the arrest of an East L.A. man in connection with the massacre, write Stuart Pfeifer and Francisco Vara-Orta of the Los Angeles Times.

"Authorities with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Marshals Service arrested Jesus Ruben Mancada on Thursday evening as he walked barefoot from his home to take out the trash."

Mancada is an alleged drug cartel member, the story reports:

"Mexican authorities arrested three suspects within a couple of months and obtained arrest warrants for several others, including Mancada."

"Mancada, 33, told U.S. immigration officials that he crossed into San Ysidro in December 1998 and spent the last decade living in California and Oregon, said Brian M. DeMore, Los Angeles field office director of ICE's Office of Detention and Removal."

-- Reed Johnson in Mexico City

Photo: Jesus Ruben Mancada, 33, who was arrested in East Los Angeles and is suspected in the 1998 killing of 19 men, women and children in Baja California. Credit: Office of the Mexico attorney general