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Crime Trackers: Neighbors share details on cross-border operatio - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Crime Trackers: Neighbors share details on cross-border operation

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LUKEVILLE, Ariz. -

New details on a story that News 4 Tucson Investigators broke on Friday.

A cross-border law enforcement initiative called "Mexican Operation Diablo Express" netted nearly two dozen arrests.

It was a top secret mission targeting members of the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Gillian Christensen said several federal and state U.S. law enforcement agencies worked with Mexican authorities in the Lukeville-Sonoyta operation.

“ICE applauds the government of Mexico for their bold action in taking down this criminal organization and for their continued pressure on the Sinaloa Cartel throughout Mexico," said Christensen.

Mexican Operation Diablo Express started with the roar of five Mexican federal police helicopters flying out of Lukeville, heading south to Sonoyta, Sonora. The operation ended with an exchange of gunfire that left  two suspects dead.

Mexican federal police armed with high-powered rifles were aboard the Blackhawk helicopters. Their targets were members of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel. The operation was also carried out by  ground troops.

Mexican officials said the ranch they were targeting was surrounded by armed men, who fired at police. The officers returned fire, killing two people. The rest of the men then laid down their guns. 22 men were arrested during the early morning raid on Friday.

Members of the Mexican police surprised the residents in the rural area of Sonoyta, Sonora.

Mexican officials said intelligence reports show the Sinaloa Cartel members used the ranch to store drugs and keep immigrants.

One woman is outraged over the operation. She said she feels hate towards the police. She said they wanted to arrest one person, and ended up taking innocent people. She said the police could care less.

She claimed she was driving when bullets went flying into her vehicle. She was slightly injured by the flying glass.

Jaime De Leon said his property, located next to the ranch that was raided, was barraged by gunfire. He said the bullets barely missed his gas tanks.

"I'm not against the operation, it's good they are doing these types of  operations," he said. "I just wish they were better prepared because how is it possible they can do these type of things?”

The operation also netted 250 kilograms of marijuana and 18 weapons. 15 of those weapons were assault rifles.

This secret operation comes just three weeks after head of the cartel Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was captured, after his daring escape last July from a Mexican prison.

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