Drug war goes on, two more held in La Linea crackdown

A DRUG trafficker who broke out of a hospital while in police custody after a hooded gang stormed a hospital near Gibraltar has been held in Jimena de la Frontera, Cadiz.

“We’ve hunted him like a rabbit in a burrow,” said one officer in the wake of Samuel Crespo’s arrest.

It comes in the wake of a manhunt for the 32-year-old, who has been on the run since the 20-strong crew overpowered medical staff and two policemen guarding him at La Linea de la Concepcion hospital in February.

He is reportedly among the top brass in one of the largest hashish smuggling operations in the city – a well-known entry point for the drug from Morocco – with the kingpin, Antonio Tejon, also jailed recently.

Another high-ranking member of the mob, David Amat, aka ‘El Tinte,’ was held alongside Crespo.

The pair were hiding out at a rural address which Crespo rarely left, according to a police statement.

He issued orders to his branch of the cabal using lower-ranking emissaries, but was caught after a covert surveillance operation led to armed anti-drugs police raiding the property.

He became nationally famous for his hospital breakout, which was triggered by his arrest after he crashed while trying to flee a National Police control with a female mule on the back of his moped.

He wounded a leg in the accident and was taken to see a doctor ahead of questioning by detectives before his associates swooped to free him.

In March, two of those who participated in the surprise attack were jailed, with one caught while carrying €200,000 in cash.

Tejon was then remanded in custody after 100 officers surrounded his home, with his brother Francisco thought to be the only leader of the so-called ‘Los Castaña’ clan still at large.

Investigators believe the gang has at least €30 million cash hidden in secret underground bunkers in the Campo de Gibraltar area.

The arrest of Tejon has sparked unrest in the notorious San Bernardo neighbourhood of La Linea, and a fortnight ago Molotov cocktails were thrown at two police cars on patrol before a group of around 300 people demonstrated to demand less police presence in the area.

After the latest arrests, a Guardia Civil officer told Spanish media: “There is total silence, let’s see how the neighbourhood responds.

“Almost everyone is hiding, they have gone underground.

“Many people don’t want Los Castaña to fall because the drug trade provides work in the area.

“But others are happy because they say that there are no real jobs here because of their cockiness and attacks on the police.”

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