The founder of one of Mexico's most violent drug cartels, La Familia Michoacana, was found shot dead on Dec. 28 by a highway.

Carlos Rosales Mendoza was discovered along with three other bodies by a tollbooth near a freeway in Michoacan. The BBC reports that all four of the victims had been shot dead. Rosales’ body showed signs of torture.

La Familia Michoacana, a drug cartel founded in 2006 and active until 2011, had a reputation for espousing religious values despite their reputation for extreme violence.

Time reports that members of La Familia Michoacana claimed that while they moved drugs they were also tasked with protecting their local community and observing the duties of devout Evangelical Christians. The cartel member were instructed to abstain from drugs and take care of their households. As part of their commitment to La Familia Michoacana, gang members were made to study a special Bible written by the gang's spiritual leader, Nazario Moreno. Moreno, who nicknamed "El Más Loco," was gunned down in 2014.

Rosales Mendoza had been released from prison in 2014 after serving a decade behind bars. He was arrested soon after on weapons charges but was released on bail. Authorities believed he was in the process of starting a new criminal organization.

He was on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s most wanted list when he died.

According to Time, U.S. legislation tied to the war on drugs may have played an unintentional part in La Familia Michoacana’s growth.

In 2005, Congress placed restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine, a main ingredient in the creation of methamphetamine. Cutting off the over-the-counter ingredient caused many meth labs in the U.S. to close.

La Familia Michoacana was easily able to fill the demand for the drug.