Accused Kidnapping Ring Leader in Mexican Custody

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EL PASO, Texas -- Security was tight as US agents Friday turned the reputed head of a powerful Mexican kidnapping ring over to Mexican law officers.

Authorities say a tip led to the arrest yesterday of 49-year-old Abel Diaz Lucas, also known as Jorge Guevara-Perez, as he walked across an intersection in El Paso.

Mexican authorities accuse Diaz of running a gang whose members impersonated federal agents and kidnapped people for ransom. Many of the victims were mutilated.

Diaz was in handcuffs as US officers walked him across the Stanton Street Bridge in downtown El Paso and turned him over to Mexican authorities.

US agents removed his cuffs, then Mexican officers handcuffed Diaz, put a bulletproof vest on him and placed him in an S-U-V with dark tinted windows.

A plainclothes officer was standing on the running board of the vehicle as it drove away.

US authorities say Diaz was deported in 2005.