Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

Drug trade casualties – Danny Baca

Danny Baca

Danny Baca

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Mexican drug cartels tend to avoid using violence in the United States, but 53-year-old Danny Baca proved to be an exception.

Baca was shot 22 times with a semiautomatic assault rifle. His body was burned and left on Pajarito Mesa in January 2008.

Working for the Juárez Cartel, Baca allegedly was smuggling marijuana and cocaine from Juárez to El Paso in hidden compartments in a white Ford Mustang.

From El Paso, Baca would transport the marijuana to cities and towns chosen by his cartel bosses.

But Baca returned to Albuquerque with at least part of the marijuana load and sold it.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said Baca was killed over a relatively small amount of money – $7,000 – but the cartel was sending a message about drug rip-offs.

Jaime Veleta

Jaime Veleta

Mario Talavera

Mario Talavera

Deputies have an arrest warrant for Jaime Veleta, 34, for killing Baca and identify him as a member of the Juárez Cartel.

His three accomplices in the Baca killing have been arrested.

Among them was his cousin, Mario Talavera, 35, a U.S. citizen, who was tracked down by U.S. marshals and arrested by Mexican police in Chihuahua in 2015 and deported to New Mexico to face kidnapping and murder charges.

Last summer, Talavera pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and kidnapping.

Veleta remains at large, probably in Mexico, and the U.S. Marshals Service has put him on its most-wanted list in New Mexico.

Subscribe now! Albuquerque Journal limited-time offer

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email or Contact the writer.