A Mexican court has ordered the release of the nephew of deceased Sinaloa drug cartel leader Ignacio Coronel. Officials earlier portrayed him as Coronel's successor as boss.

The Federal Judiciary Council said late Wednesday the court had acquitted the nephew and four other co-defendants because of procedural violations in the case.

Martin Beltran Coronel had been charged with organized crime and the other four faced money laundering charges.

The council said that soldiers who detained the five in May 2011 had entered a home without a search warrant. It also said that protected witnesses had improperly identified the five after being shown photo albums of potential suspects.

Suspects are usually identified through a special form of line-up in Mexico.

Ignacio Coronel died in a shootout with troops in 2010.