Mexican kingpin is sentenced to 25 years in U.S. prison (
CNN NEWS April 4/2012
(CNN) -- A former leader of Mexico's Tijuana drug cartel
was sentenced Monday in the United States to 25 years in prison and
ordered to forfeit $100 million after pleading guilty to racketeering
and conspiracy to launder money, officials said.Benjamin Arellano
Felix pleaded guilty to the charges in January in U.S. federal
court in San Diego. " Today's sentencing marks the end of Mr. Arellano-Felix's
reign as the leader of one of the most dangerous drug
and organized crime organizations our agencies have ever investigated," San
Diego FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Eric Birnbaum said in a statement.
Benjamin Arellano Felix was one of seven brothers who ran the cartel,
also known as the Arellano Felix Organization, until he and the majority
of the leadership were arrested.
During its peak in the 1990s and early 2000s, the cartel controlled
the flow of cocaine, marijuana and other drugs into the United States
through Tijuana and Mexicali.
In addition to trafficking drugs, the cartel under Arellano Felix's
leadership ran a network known for bribes, spies and killings, according
to the Mexican attorney general's office. He was considered the
brains and accountant for the organization, the agency said.
Arellano Felix has been convicted of organized crime activities in Mexico
and served nine years there before being brought to the United States
last year. He was arrested in 2002 in the state of Puebla. Extradition
processes against him began in 2007.
"Today's prison sentence virtually ensures that Arellano-Felix
will spend the remainder of his life in custody. Following this
sentence, he will be deported to Mexico to finish a 22-year sentence.
This is a fitting end for a person who has caused so much suffering