Tijuana drug gang leader takes a plea in U.S. court

Once-powerful Mexican drug lord Benjamin Arellano Felix has pleaded guilty in a U.S. federal court to charges of racketeering and conspiracy to launder money.

Arellano Felix entered the plea Wednesday in San Diego, California. As part of the 17-page agreement, Arellano Felix admitted smuggling tons of cocaine and marijuana into the U.S. and conspiring to launder millions of dollars. The deal also calls for him to forfeit $100 million in profits. He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison when sentenced April 2.

Arellano Felix headed the Tijuana, Mexico-based cartel bearing his name. Mexican authorities say he led the cartel with some of his brothers from the 1980s until his arrest in Mexico in 2002. Arellano Felix was extradited to the United States in April of last year.

He is one of the highest-profile cartel members extradited to the U.S. under the administration of Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

This entry was posted in Latin American News. Bookmark the permalink.