Cartel Leader Extradited From Mexico to U.S
The alleged leader of the Arellano-Felix Organization was extradited Friday by the government of Mexico to the U. S. to face racketeering, money laundering and narcotics trafficking charges in the Southern District of California.
Alberto Benjamin Arellano-Felix was captured by Mexican authorities in 2002. While extradition to the United States was granted in 2007, there were years of unsuccessful motions and appeals until Arellano-Felix finally arrived in the United States on Friday. Law enforcement officials who spoke to Law Enforcement Examiner claim this extradition is a message to Americans from the Mexican government that the Calderon Administration is serious about cooperating with the U.S. "While this is a big catch for Mexico, their officials want to show that Calderon's comments are politically motivated when he's critical of the U.S., and that he's willing to do what it takes to work withU.S. law enforcement to capture, try and convict top organized crime figures," said former narcotics officer John Kubitz. "It also removes a threat to Mexican government officials who know that the cartels are not afraid to assassinate top officials. With Arrellano-Felix in the United States, a threat may have been removed," said Kubitz. The suspected drug cartel leader is expected to be arraigned on Monday, May 2, 2011, in U.S. District Court in San Diego before Judge Larry Alan Burns. U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy, whose office secured the indictment against Arellano-Felix, said that she was “extremely proud of the dedication and commitment that teams of people have demonstrated in bringing Arellano-Felix to answer, in an American court of law, to the very serious charges with which he is charged.” Duffy stated, “We are grateful to the Government of Mexico for its assistance in the extradition and have personally relayed our thanks to Mexican Attorney General Marisela Morales.” Over the last several years, the two women have worked together on a number of trans-border crime matters. Long-reputed to be one of the most violent and ruthless multi-national drug trafficking organizations, the AFO controlled the flow of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and other drugs through the Mexican border cities of Tijuana and Mexicali into the United States. Its criminal enterprises also extended into southern Mexico as well as Colombia. The indictment charges Arellano-Felix with conducting the affairs of an illegal enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity (RICO), conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine and marijuana, and money laundering. The indictment alleges that the leadership of the AFO negotiated directly with Colombian cocaine trafficking organizations for the purchase of multi-ton shipments of cocaine, received those shipments in Mexico by sea and by air, and then arranged for the smuggling of the cocaine into the United States and its further distribution throughout the U.S. The indictment also alleges that the proceeds of the AFO’s drug trafficking, estimated by law enforcement to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, were then smuggled back into Mexico. In addition, prosecutors allege that the AFO recruited, trained and armed groups of bodyguards and assassins who were responsible for protecting the leaders of the organization, and also for conducting assassinations of rival drug traffickers, suspected cooperators, uncooperative Mexican law enforcement and military personnel, and members of the Mexican news media who printed stories unfavorable towards the AFO. This case is being investigated by agents from the DEA, the FBI, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, and prosecuted in the Southern District of California by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Green and James Melendres. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in the extradition. The investigation of Alberto Benjamin Arellano-Felix was coordinated by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).
Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for ConservativeBase.com, and he's a columnist for Examiner.com. In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.
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Tags: Drug War , Mass Graves , Narco-terrorism
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