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Mexico ex-drug lord returns to Mexico after release from US prison

[JURIST] Mexican drug lord Francisco Rafael Arellano-Felix was released from a US prison Tuesday and has returned to Mexico, according to a source at the Mexican Attorney General's office [official website, in Spanish]. Arellano-Felix ran the Arellano-Felix cartel [PBS backgrounder] until his 1993 arrest. He served more than 11 years in prison in Mexico on drug and illegal-weapons charges, before he became the first major drug dealer to be extradited from Mexico to the US [JURIST report] in 2006. He pleaded guilty [press release, PDF] in San Diego federal court in June 2007 to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and was later sentenced [press release, PDF] to six years in prison. A US official said that Arellano-Felix had received credit for time served while awaiting extradition to the US. Reuters has more.

The cartel was once run by a family of seven brothers and four sisters. One of Arellano-Felix's younger brothers, Francisco Javier Arellano-Felix, is the second of the cartel leaders to face drug-related charges. In September 2007, he pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to running a continuing criminal enterprise and conspiracy to launder money.

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