Final Drug Cartel Member Extradited to U.S. - NBC 7 San Diego

Final Drug Cartel Member Extradited to U.S.

Eduardo Arellano-Felix, 55, is the last member of a powerful drug cartel to be extradited



    Alleged drug cartel member Eduardo Arellano-Felix, 55, was extradited from Mexico to the United States Friday to face charges of racketeering, money laundering and narcotics trafficking, U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced.

    Arellano-Felix was arrested by Mexican authorities in Tijuana, Mexico, on Oct. 25, 2008, after a gun battle with a Mexican Special Tactical Team. An extradition order to the U.S. was granted in 2010, followed by two years of unsuccessful appeals.

    Arellano-Felix – allegedly a top leader in the Arellano-Felix Organization (AFO) -- finally arrived in San Diego Friday afternoon. He’s scheduled to make his first appearance in court Tuesday.

    The AFO is known as one of the most notorious multi-national drug trafficking organizations, controlling the flow of cocaine, marijuana and other drugs through the Mexican border cities of Tijuana and Mexicali into the United States. Its operations also extended into southern Mexico and Colombia.

    Final Drug Cartel Member Extradited to U.S.

    [DGO] Final Drug Cartel Member Extradited to U.S.
    Eduardo Arellano-Felix, the final alleged member of the powerful Arellano-Felix Organization was extradited to the U.S. Friday. NBC 7's Tony Shin speaks to former prosecutor John Kirby about this major development in bringing down the notorious drug cartel.
    (Published Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012)

    The extradition of Arellano-Felix Friday marks a major development in the war on drugs along our border and signals the official end of the notorious AFO.

    For the past 20 years, federal prosecutors have been working tirelessly to stop extreme violence across the border fueled by the AFO cartel, which has a long history of torture and murder.

    “Everybody in this organization has had somebody killed,” said former federal prosecutor John Kirby.

    Tijuana Cartel Leader Sentenced 25 Years

    [DGO] Tijuana Cartel Leader Sentenced 25 Years
    Bejamin Arellano-Felix pleaded guilty on April 2 to racketeering and money laundering. Judge Larry Burns approved the plea deal, and its 25 year-prison term.
    (Published Monday, April 2, 2012)

    Kirby helped draft the indictment against the Arellano-Felix cartel which has led to the capture of four of the Arellano brothers.

    Eduardo is the last one to face justice.

    “I do have a level of personal satisfaction. Finally, Eduardo, the last one,” said Kirby.

    DA: Brutal Kidnapping, Murder Crew Dismantled

    [DGO] DA: Brutal Kidnapping, Murder Crew Dismantled
    Seventeen men linked to the Arellano-Felix Cartel were indicted today on charges of murder, kidnapping and attempted murder of a police officer. Nine are in custody. And officials are asking for the help from the public in tracking down the remaining suspects.
    (Published Friday, March 16, 2012)

    Kirby said Eduardo’s extradition sends a powerful message to other cartels.

    "If the Arellano brothers can be brought here, anybody can be,” warned Kirby.

    He also believes other cartels have learned not to make the same mistakes made by the Arellano brothers.

    "The violence and corruption was just too much, and was too out there, so I think other traffickers might want to think, we want to be much quieter."

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