Eduardo Arellano Felix, the 55-year-old head of what was once one of Mexico's most established drug cartels, was extradited to the United States Friday.
Arellano Felix, who along with his brothers ran a drug trafficking organization responsible for hundreds of deaths, exhausted all of his appeal options in Mexico, and was flown to San Diego, California Friday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The drug chief is scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday in San Diego, and faces charges of narcotics trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering, the Associated Press reported.
"This extradition is a significant step in our effort to bring another key figure in the Arellano-Felix Organization to answer, in an American court of law, to very serious charges," said US Attorney Laura Duffy, who built her career on the case, San Diego talk radio station KFMB reported. "We are grateful to the government of Mexico for its assistance in the extradition."
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Arellano Felix was arrested in Tijuana, Mexico, on October 25, 2008 by Mexican authorities following a gun battle in the city, NBC News reported. His extradition was approved in 2010. He is the last leader of the organization to face charges.
The Arellano-Felix Organization (AFO) used Baja, California as it's home base for smuggling hundreds of tons of cocaine and marijuana into California, and used brutality and undercover business tactics to become one of the major drug cartels in the 1980s and 90s, the LA Times reported.
“Everybody in this organization has had somebody killed,” said former federal prosecutor John Kirby, NBC News reported. “I do have a level of personal satisfaction. Finally, Eduardo, the last one."
AFO's leader Benjamin Arellano Felix was sentenced to a 25-year prison term in April 2012, according to the Times.