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Mexican drug lord pleads guilty in US federal court

[JURIST] Mexican drug lord Francisco Javier Arellano Felix [Wikipedia profile] pleaded guilty [press release] in the US District Court for the Southern District of California [official website] Monday to running a continuing criminal enterprise and conspiracy to launder money. Prosecutors alleged that Arellano Felix helped run the Arellano Felix cartel [PBS backgrounder], based out of Tijuana, Mexico, which became notorious for its aggressive and ruthless behavior and brought hundreds of tons of marijuana and cocaine into the US. The plea agreement, which came after officials in Washington, DC agreed not to pursue the death penalty, calls for Arellano Felix to forfeit $50 million and a yacht.

Sibling Francisco Rafael Arrellano Felix [Wikipedia profile] became the first major accused drug dealer to be extradited from Mexico [JURIST report] last year, and pleaded not guilty to cocaine distribution charges [AP report]. The Arellano Felix cartel was once run by a family of seven brothers and four sisters. Francisco Javier Arellano Felix is the second of the cartel leaders to face drug related charges. All other charges were dropped under the plea agreement, and Arellano Felix will be sentenced on November 5. AP has more.

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