'Knights Templar' Cartel Kingpin Captured

The leader of the Knights Templar drug cartel, a gang patterned after the most famous of the medieval Western Christian military orders, was arrested in the Mexican state of Michoacan. 

Federal security forces say Bulmaro Salinas Muñoz, alias "El Men," was arrested in Morelia, where he had allegedly been the cartel's local chief since August 2010.

The 33-year-old is accused of extortion, kidnapping and involvement in the murder of 21 people.

Mexican officials say Salinas was imprisoned in the United States in 2004 on drug and weapons possession charges.

Muñoz allegedly began his career in La Familia Michoacana. Officials say he later broke off to join the newly formed cartel which models itself after the 12th and 13th Century Crusaders.

The Knights Templar have recently released their own code of conduct booklet - set to medieval art - in an effort to publicly appeal to Mexicans living in Michoacán. 

Claiming to be fighting a war against poverty, tyranny and injustice, the crime gang is distributing books outlining its "mission."

Federal police said they seized copies of the cartel's "code of conduct" booklet during an arrest of cartel members in the western state of Michoacán last week, but refused to release its contents Tuesday, saying they didn't want fan the flames of the quasi-religious movement.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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