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Purported leader of Gulf drug cartel captured: Mexican Navy

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican marines detained a man believed to be the leader of the Gulf drug cartel in the northern state of Tamaulipas, across the border from Texas, the navy announced late Wednesday.

The navy said in a brief statement that the man identified himself as Gulf cartel boss Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez. The navy gave no other details, saying it would provide more information Thursday.

If confirmed, the arrest of Costilla would be another blow to the Matamoros-based Gulf Cartel, which has been weakened by its struggle to keep the rival Zetas cartel from taking over all of its territory since the two split in early 2010 and began a bloody turf war.

A verified capture also would be a significant victory for the marines, who were embarrassed in June after announcing they had nabbed the son of Mexico's top fugitive drug lord.

It turned out the man wasn't the son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, but rather Felix Beltran Leon, 23, a stocky, baby-faced suspect whose family said he was the father of a toddler and worked with his mother-in-law at a used car dealership. He remains in custody, authorities say, because guns and money were found when he was arrested.

Costilla was born in Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas, and worked for several years as a local police officer. He joined the Gulf Cartel in the 1990s and became a lieutenant for then-leader Osiel Cardenas Guillen.

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