MEXICO CITY (AP) — Federal police in Mexico have arrested a San Diego native and identified him as a top lieutenant of the collapsing Tijuana drug cartel.

Armando Villareal Heredia is accused of trafficking drugs from the northern state of Sinaloa into the United States.

The 33-year-old is also wanted by the U.S. on federal conspiracy and racketeering charges, according to a 2010 complaint that alleges murder, kidnapping and other crimes.

Justice Department spokeswoman Debra Hartman confirmed Villareal was a U.S. citizen.

Mexican and U.S. authorities say Villareal works for Fernando Sanchez Arellano, a drug kingpin who is the leader of a younger but weaker Tijuana cartel.

Federal police arrested Villareal on Saturday in the northern city of Hermosillo.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.