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Major Mexican Cartel Player Sentenced to 25 Years

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The former leader of the Tijuana Cartel/Arellano-Felix Organization was sentenced Monday in San Diego fed court to 25 years in prison, the DEA announced.

Benjamin Arellano-Felix, nearly 60, was also ordered to forfeit $100 million in criminal proceeds.

“The Tijuana Cartel was one of the world’s most brutal drug trafficking networks, but has now met its demise with leader Benjamin Arellano-Felix’s sentencing today,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart in a statement. “It is a major victory for DEA and Mexico’s Calderon Administration.”

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy added: “Today’s prison sentence virtually ensures that Arellano-Felix will spend the remainder of his life in custody. Following this sentence, he will be deported to Mexico to finish a 22-year sentence.”

For U.S. authorities, it was a long road to justice.

Arellano-Felix was taken into custody by Mexican authorities on March 9, 2002.

A final order of extradition to the United States was granted in 2007 and after years of unsuccessful appeals, Arellano-Felix arrived in the U.S. on April 29, 2011, to face drug-related charges in San Diego.

In January, he pleaded guilty.

 


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