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Tuco Salamanca's Crew was a drug operation, and a sub-division of the Salamancas. They primarly served as drug distributors for the Cartel in the South Valley territory of Albuquerque, New Mexico. After Tuco's death, as well as the death or arrest of all his lieutenants in 2008, the organization fell apart.

History[]

Background Information[]

Tuco Salamanca founded the crew somewhere between circa 1996 and 1998, selling the methamphetamine produced by Southern California biker gangs. Tuco worked alongside Nacho Varga and was was good friends with their supplier Dog Paulson but Tuco's use of the meth led him to shooting Dog in 1998 with a sawed-off shotgun, just because of the suspicion that he was being double-crossed. Tuco would later feel remorse for this act, and it damaged his relationship with Nacho. Tuco and his crew later took over the meth trade from the biker gangs that same year. Tuco and his crew would soon be put in charge of running the Salamanca family’s drug operation in New Mexico by Tuco’s uncle Hector. By the early 2000's, Tuco's operation was fairly successful. Employing several street dealers, such as Domingo Molina and his crew, and sold meth and cocaine through street dealing and dead drops. They operated out of a Mexican restaurant, El Michoacáno, where Tuco received weekly payments from all of his dealers.

Better Call Saul[]

In 2002, Tuco and his crew captured Jimmy McGill and two con artists, and brought them to the desert, after they accidentally tried to pull a scam on Tuco and his Abuelita. Tuco agreed to let them live, but he broke one each of the con artists legs. Nacho then starts making plans of killing Tuco, concerned that Tuco's violent and erratic behaviour will get him killed for his independent drug deals with Daniel Wormald. Nacho hires Mike Ehrmantraut to have Tuco be taken out of the picture and Tuco is arrested outside El Michoacáno for assault and armed robbery. ("Gloves Off")

Hector stepped in to run the operation until Tuco’s release. However he would suffer a stroke that left him an invalid. Nacho then took up the role of acting boss, and promoted Domingo as his lieutenant. Lalo Salamanca soon stepped in to oversee the operation, and make sure Nacho was running it well. Eventually Nacho betrayed Lalo and took part in an assassination plot orchestrated by Gustavo Fring. Nacho would kill himself when captured by the Cartel, while Lalo survived the assassination attempt, but was later killed by Gus.

Don Eladio then divided up the New Mexico territory between Gus’ drug empire and Tuco’s crew.

Breaking Bad[]

After being released from prison, Tuco went back to running his operation, becoming the cartel's key distributor in the US, employing a large number of operatives, and leading it from his cantina. At some point during this time, Domingo and his crew broke off from Tuco’s crew, and became their own independent operation. In 2008, Tuco began working with meth cooks Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, being impressed by their blue crystal meth. During a meeting with them at a junkyard, Tuco beat No-Doze to death for speaking out of turn. As Gonzo attempted to bury the body, an unstable stack of scrapped cars fell onto him, crushing his arm and causing him to bleed to death. The DEA's investigation led to the raid on Tuco headquarter's, and all of his known properties, As well as the arrest of all his men, forcing Tuco to bring Walter and Jesse to Hector’s cottage until his Cousins could bring them into Mexico so they could make Walter and Jesse the cartel’s new meth cooks. However, they would both escape, and Tuco was killed in a shootout with Walt’s brother-in-law, Hank Schrader.

With the raid and the death of Tuco, the entire operation quickly collapsed.

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