Felipe Rodríguez Salgado is believed to be a close associate of leaders of the Guerrero Unidos, or United Warriors, drug cartel.
The gang, according to the attorney general’s investigation, coordinated the abduction of the students from the teacher training college of Ayotzinapa on Sep. 26, in the city of Iguala, in Guerrero state.
Federal police and soldiers searched for Rodríguez Salgado for several days before they found him early Friday morning, in Juitepec, a city about 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of Mexico City.
Authorities have yet to disclose any official information about the arrest.
The attorney general’s office said Tuesday that 45 people have been formally charged in the case, including the former mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca and his wife.
The parents of the students, who firmly believe their relatives are alive and are being held by authorities, plan to inspect several military bases in the state of Guerrero in the coming days.
But Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio said Friday that the army has invited the relatives of the students to visit only the military post in Iguala.