TIJUANA, Mexico - Soldiers swept into the compound of flashy gambling tycoon Jorge Hank Rhon around 3:30 a.m., hustling him and his family from bed. They left with a cache of arms and the powerful Mexican politician in custody.
Saturday's raid was a bold strike against Tijuana's former mayor, who has prospered through decades of never-proven suspicion that his family's fortunes are linked to illegal drugs.
Troops found 40 rifles, 48 handguns, 9,298 bullets, 70 ammunition clips and a gas grenade, authorities said.
Mexican law limits ownership of large-caliber firearms to the military and requires licensing of most other guns. Violations can be punished by as long as 15 years in prison in some cases.
Hank Rhon, 55, was mayor of Tijuana from 2004 to 2007, but lost in a run for Baja California state governor that year. He is a self-proclaimed billionaire who owns a dog track, a nationwide chain of off-track betting parlors and the Tijuana soccer team.