Mexican authorities announced they have captured the leader of La Familia, the cultish cartel responsible for some of the most nightmarish acts committed throughout that country's ongoing drug wars.

Jose de Jesus Mendez, aka "El Chango" or "The Monkey", was captured in the central state of Aguascalientes at a routine highway checkpoint. Not a single shot was fired as he was taken into custody, reports.

President Felipe Calderon took to Twitter to congratulate the authorities on their bounty, calling it a "major blow" to organized crime. Based in Calderon's home state of Michoacan, La Familia "uses pseudo-Christian ideology while gruesomely decapitating foes and selling cocaine and methamphetamine by the ton."

It's not yet clear if this was a chance encounter or part of a bigger, coordinated operation. If there was a tipster involved, the payout could be huge — there was a $2.5 million bounty on Mendez's head. [MSNBC, photo via AP]