Marco Antonio Guzman, 34, was arrested in the state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico along with two other alleged gang members, police said in a statement.
Guzman’s nickname “El Brad Pitt” reportedly comes from a disguise he once wore of long hair, a baseball cap and a camera around his neck, in an attempt to look like a tourist when he worked as a lookout for the drug cartel, the Associated Press says.
His fellow gang members said the disguise made Guzman looked like Brad Pitt in a scene from the film “Spy Game,” where the Hollywood star wore a similar outfit, the AP reports.
(See a news clip on YouTube that shows "El Brad Pitt")
"It's a name given to the man by his associates. I guess they think he looks like him," a spokeswoman for federal police told the Telegraph.
Guzman was wanted in connection with murders and attacks on police, including a June 15, 2010 car bomb explosion that killed a federal police officer and two civilians. There was a $42,000 (500,000 pesos) reward for his capture.
Police accuse Guzman of being a leader of the drug cartel's armed wing, a group formed by renegade police officers that acts as enforcers for the Juarez cartel, the Telegraph reports.
They also accuse him of being involved in drug-trafficking operations across Chihuahua. The state is one of the worst-affected areas of the drug war, and the state capital, Ciudad Juarez, is the most murderous city the world, according to a special report by GlobalPost, “7 Circles of Juarez.”
Mexican drug gang members often have colorful nicknames, such as "El Gordo" (fatso), "El Piolin" (Tweety), “El Camello” (the camel) and even "El Winnie Pooh," the Telegraph says.