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Mexican authorities: Former goalkeeper worked for kidnapping gang

By the CNN Wire Staff
January 8, 2012 -- Updated 1427 GMT (2227 HKT)
Omar Ortiz had been working with a kidnapping gang for more than a year, a security spokesman says.
Omar Ortiz had been working with a kidnapping gang for more than a year, a security spokesman says.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Goalkeeper Omar Ortiz is accused of working with a kidnapping gang for over a year
  • Ortiz, known as "The Cat," helped the gang find details about victims, authorities say
  • The gang was responsible for at least 20 kidnappings, a spokesman says

Monterrey, Mexico (CNN) -- Mexican authorities have arrested a former soccer star whom they accuse of using his social status to help a kidnapping gang track down information about potential victims, officials said.

Omar Ortiz, known as "The Cat," played for the Rayados de Monterrey before the Mexican Football League suspended him in April 2010 after he allegedly tested positive for steroid use.

A security spokesman in Nuevo Leon state said Saturday that the former goalkeeper had been working with a kidnapping gang for more than a year.

The gang was responsible for at least 20 kidnappings, spokesman Jorge Domene told reporters, including the abduction and release of pop singer Gloria Trevi's husband. Trevi has not spoken publicly about the alleged kidnapping, which was widely reported in Mexican media.

In addition to Ortiz, authorities presented three other alleged members of the gang to the media Saturday, but said seven other suspects remained at large.

The gang allegedly worked in the area south of the industrial city of Monterrey, kidnapping merchants and charging ransoms of around 1 million pesos ($72,600) to free them.

Authorities said the gang was connected with Mexico's Gulf Cartel.

Journalists Javier Estrada and Victor Badillo, and CNN's Joseph Netto and Michael Roa contributed to this report.

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