Notorious acid attack criminal ‘el Mellilero’ could face half century in jail

Jose 'el Millelero' Arcadio during his arrest in January 2021

Prosecutors in the case of notorious criminal ‘el Mellilero’ have requested he be jailed for more than 50 years for ordering a horrific acid attack on his ex-girlfriend and her friend. 

José Arcadio, also known as ‘el Mellilero’, was arrested just four days after an accomplice was said to have thrown a one-litre bottle of sulfuric acid at his ex-girlfriend and a female friend through an open car window in the Málagan town of Cártama, in Andalusia. 

The two young women, believed to have been aged between 26 and 28 years old at the time of the attack in January last year, suffered serious burns from the attack and were hospitalised for a number of days. 

According to news publication Málaga hoy, the Prosecutor’s Office has requested that el Millelero, described as the head of a criminal organisation, be jailed for  51.5 years for the extreme acid attack, along with several other offences. 

The acid attack occurred on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, after Arcadio secured the purchase of a one-litre bottle of 98 per cent sulfuric acid and placed ‘geolocation beacons’ on his ex-partner’s vehicle in order to track her movements. 

Málaga hoy reports that el Millelero had attempted the attack the day before; pulling alongside the vehicle his ex-girlfriend and her friend were driving in and telling her to roll down her window. 

Scared, his former partner refused, prompting Arcadio to tell her his accomplice – known as ‘Poti’ – would ‘take care’ of her, with Poti making a throat-slitting gesture towards her. 

Poti himself is facing up to 40 years in prison for his alleged involvement in both the attack and his involvement in Arcadio’s criminal organisation. 

The following afternoon, Arcadio tracked his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle down again and reportedly ordered Poti to throw the bottle of acid through the driver’s window, which was partially open – causing severe burns to both women inside the car. 

Arcadio was captured four days after the attack, hiding out in a construction zone in Mijas, in Málaga province. 

He later penned a letter from prison to Spanish TV programme Ya es Mediodía; proclaiming his innocence and blaming the media for his arrest and imprisonment, saying he wasn’t responsible for spraying the acid on the young women. 

However, in a recent indictment, the Public Ministry have requested el Millelero be handed 51.5 years behind bars, for the attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend and her friend. 

The Ministry said the attack had caused the ‘most extreme pain’ to the women and expressed ‘contempt for [the] female gender’, with its aim having been ‘humiliation, domination and subordination’. 

Arcadio is also accused of more than five further additional crimes: one of belonging to a criminal organization, two of serious threats, two of harassment and one of habitual abuse. 

For Poti’s involvement, the Prosecutor’s Office have requested a total of 39 years and six months in prison; whilst other members of Arcadio’s organised gang face imprisonment of up to 35 years. 

The office have also requested that the defendants pay el Millelero’s ex-girlfriend €1,133,401.28, as well as €312,522.22 to her friend, in compensation for their injuries. 

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Written by

James Gamble