The story was originally broken worldwide by Frank Report – the November 4th massacre of three women and six children, members of the LeBaron clan that farms land in Sonora in the northern Mexico.
Seven other children survived by hiding by the roadside.
The children who were killed ranged in age from eight months old to 12 years old. They lived in Mexico as dual citizens until they came under fire from suspected cartel members while en route to a wedding.
Frank Report had the story out – which was soon picked up around the world – before the authorities arrived at the murder scene some 10 hours after the murders occurred.
The family was caravanning in three SUVs when gunmen opened fire on the vehicles, causing one to ignite. The other two vehicles came to a stop, where cartel gunmen shot passengers inside the car.
The federal authorities arrested Fidel Alejandro Villegas, police chief of Janos in the state of Chihuahua.
Villegas was arrested on suspicion of protecting organized crime in the region and of colluding in the killings, a spokesman for Mexico’s Public Security Ministry said.
Details of his alleged role in the killings were not clear.
Reports speculated the chief’s arrest has to do with his alleged links to the Juárez Cartel, which has been designated by the DEA as one of the most prominent criminal organizations in Mexico.
He is the fourth person arrested on suspicion of participating in the massacre.
It is not known if any of the actual murderers have been arrested.
The women and children, dual citizens of Mexico and the United States, were traveling in sports utility vehicles on a remote country road when they were attacked by gunmen believed to belong to an organized crime group.
It has been reported that Federal officials believe that the victims were mistaken for members of a rival group.
But others say that the murderers knew who they were killing and that water rights and the LeBaron’s activism was at the heart of the killings.
The arrest of a police chief as a conspirator in the crime is nothing new in Mexico. In a small town like Janos, the criminals have substantially more gun power than the police.
There have been 32,600 murders reported in Mexico through November.
Under pressure from the Trump administration, the Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, sought US cooperation in the case, inviting the FBI to help in the investigation.
President Trump has since vowed to crack down on cartel violence in Mexico. Officials said Mexican authorities have been working with the FBI on the matter.