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Mexican police chief arrested in connection to murders of 9 U.S. citizens last month

Freshly dug graves, top of photo, are prepared for Rhonita Miller, 30, and four of her young children Krystal and Howard, and twins Titus and Tiana, who were murdered by drug cartel gunmen, before their burial at a cemetery in LeBaron, Chihuahua state, Mexico, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. A total of three women and six of their children, from the extended LeBaron family, were gunned down in a cartel ambush while traveling along Mexico's Chihuahua and Sonora state border on Monday. The graves in the foreground are not related to the burial of the Miller family. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

MEXICO CITY — Officials with the Mexican government confirmed a major arrest today in connection to the slaying of nine women and children in Northern Mexico last month. They arrested Fidel Alejandro Villegas for his involvement in the suspected cartel murders.

Villegas is a municipal police chief in Chihuahua and his ties to the slayings are currently unclear. His arrest is one of many by Mexican law enforcement after that country’s government invited the FBI to assist in the investigation.

Mexican news outlets say police chief Fidel Alejandro Villegas is in custody for suspicion of being somehow involved in the crime, but the nature of that involvement is unclear. Officials believe the women and children were killed after getting caught up in a territory dispute between local drug cartels. Mexico’s president has invited the FBI to assist with the investigation after pressure from the Trump administration.

Villegas is one of several suspects detained since the investigation began.