Mexican drug lord Arellano Félix to be jailed for 25 years in U.S.

By Dialogo
April 03, 2012

SAN DIEGO, U.S.A. – Mexican drug kingpin Benjamín Arellano
Félix, former leader of the notorious Arellano Félix Organization (AFO), was sent to
jail for 25 years and ordered to pay back US$100 million in a U.S. court on April 2,
after pleading guilty to racketeering and money-laundering.

Arellano Félix caused “chaos and violence on both sides of the (U.S.-Mexican)
border,” said Judge Larry Burns in San Diego.

Arellano Félix was extradited from Mexico to the United States last April, to
face charges of narco-trafficking, criminal association, money laundering and
organized crime.

He admitted to racketeering and conspiracy to money-laundering charges in
January, agreeing to a plea deal that included a 25-year sentence and forfeiture of
US$100 million in criminal proceeds.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele M. Leonhart
hailed the sentencing as “a major victory” for the DEA and the government of Mexican
President Felipe Calderón.

“The Tijuana Cartel was one of the world’s most brutal drug-trafficking
networks, but has now met its demise with leader Benjamin Arellano Félix’s
sentencing today,” she said. “Together, we will continue our pressure on the Mexican
cartels whose leaders, members and facilitators will be prosecuted and face the
justice they fear.”

The drug gang leader, who was detained in Mexico in 2002, led the Tijuana
Cartel, or Arellano Félix Organization, with his brothers and was considered the
“financial and operative brain” of the gang, according to Mexican officials. He was
extradited to the United States in 2007.

[AFP, 02/04/2012;, 02/04/2012]