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Arturo Beltran Leyva: Severed Head Left At Grave Of Mexican Drug Lord

01/17/10 10:32 PM ET   AP

Arturo Beltran Leyva

CULIACAN, Mexico — A severed human head and a flower were found in front of the tomb of deceased drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva in northern Mexico.

Prosecutors in Sinaloa state said Sunday the man's headless body was found in a plastic bag atop the tomb of another drug trafficker in the Jardines del Humaya cemetery in Culiacan.

The severed head had a flower tucked behind one ear and had been carefully placed in front of the entrance gate to Beltran Leyva's elaborate, multistory crypt, said prosecutors' spokesman Martin Gastelum.

Police found it after receiving a telephone tip.

Beltran Leyva was killed in a Dec. 16 shootout with Mexican marines.

Suspected cartel hit men later killed four relatives of a marine who died in the shootout.

Also Sunday, Mexican authorities announced the seizure of over 3 1/2 tons of pseudoephedrine – a chemical used in the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine – found hidden in a shipment of fire extinguishers at the Pacific coast seaport of Manzanillo.

Mexico's tax service, which practices port-of-entry inspections, said the cache was found Saturday. In a joint statement with the Attorney General's Office, the service did not say where the shipment originated or where it was bound.

Mexico has imposed a near-total ban on imports of the substance.

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Filed by Nicholas Sabloff  |