Martin Villegas Navarrete, 38, was detained “without a shot fired” in a trendy district of the capital, where he had traveled to from the Pacific resort of Acapulco, the National Security Commission said on Friday.
A US court issued an extradition request for Villegas in 2011 on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, the commission said in a statement.
In 2008, he was responsible for the smuggling of cocaine to the southern US states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas, the commission said.
US authorities seized $13 million and 150 kilos of cocaine between 2008 and 2009.
The commission said Villegas and Arnoldo Villa Sanchez shared the cartel’s leadership in October following the capture of Hector Beltran Leyva, whose brothers founded the criminal organization.