Tijuana Cartel Leader Sentenced to 15 Years

By Dialogo
August 21, 2013

The former second-in-command of Mexico’s Tijuana Cartel was sentenced in California on August 19 to 15 years of prison for being the criminal organization’s manager, the U.S. Department of Justice reported.

Eduardo Arellano Félix, aged 56, was sentenced by the San Diego Federal Court in California (on the border with the Mexican city of Tijuana) for laundering dozens of millions of dollars earned illegally through drug trafficking, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The organization’s manager was found guilty of money laundering and illicit investments coming from drug trafficking in May, after a settlement with the Prosecution in which Arellano Félix would pay $50 million obtained from drug trafficking and be sentenced to a maximum of 15 years of prison.

Federal Judge Larry Burns stated that, “Eduardo Arellano Félix was a crucial part” of the operation and “he was totally aware of its methods,” although his activities were less violent than those of his brothers.

He also pointed out that the Tijuana Cartel’s operations seriously affected the communities on the border.

“There were terrible long term consequences… and you should be ashamed of that,” the official said when talking to the financier.

Arellano Félix, aka “The Doctor”, was arrested after a shoot out between Mexican authorities in Tijuana in October 2008, and was extradited from Mexico to the United States on August 31 of last year.

He had inherited control of the organization after Ramón, the most violent of the nine siblings, was killed in 2002, and following the arrest of Benjamín and Francisco Javier in 2002 and 2006, respectively.

Currently, Benjamín and Francisco Javier Arellano Félix are serving time in U.S. prisons.