A judge imposed preventive detention for drug trafficker Eduardo Arellano Felix, former head of the Tijuana cartel deported from the United States, informed on Sunday the Attorney General's Office (FGR). The Public Prosecutor's Office said that a judge in Toluca, in the State of Mexico, issued a "formal order of imprisonment against a person for probable responsibility for the crime of organized crime with the purpose of committing crimes against health," in reference to Arellano Felix.
The drug trafficker, known as 'the Doctor', incarcerated in the Altiplano high-security prison, participated via videoconference in the hearing, in which "he reserved his right to testify," the Attorney General's Office explained.
On Monday, the United States handed over Eduardo Arellano Felix at the Brownsville-Matamoros International Bridge. The Mexican drug trafficker was released on August 18 from a federal prison in Pennsylvania where he was serving a 15-year sentence on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to use illicit proceeds in the United States.
The 64-year-old did not complete his sentence as a result of his extensive cooperation with U.S. authorities, which began in May 2013 when he pleaded guilty. Part of his plea agreement with the government included that he would be sentenced on only two of the seven counts he was charged with when he was extradited from Mexico in August 2012.
Upon his release from prison, he was taken into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody pending deportation. The Arellano Felix brothers' cartel monopolized drug trafficking routes for more than 20 years through Tijuana.
The former leader of the group, Benjamin Arellano Felix, was extradited from Mexico in April 2011 and sentenced to 25 years in prison in a San Diego federal court in April 2012, while Francisco Javier Arellano Felix is serving a life sentence following his capture in 2006 by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Who is Eduardo Arellano Felix "El Doctor", the Mexican drug trafficker?
Drug trafficker Eduardo Arellano Felix was born on October 11, 1956. Since then he has shared days and nights with his siblings Benjamín, Ramón, Javier, and Enedina... He did so until death and jail separated the Arellano Félix family, of which he is a part. Eduardo Arellano Felix was called "El Doctor". The EFE news agency reports that he was called that because he studied medicine. He was a narco and a doctor. He was a doctor and narco. But not just any drug lord, one of the heirs to the Tijuana Cartel, also known as the Arellano Felix Cartel, founded in 1980 by Ramon Arellano and Benjamin Arellano.
Eduardo inherited a criminal business on the verge of extinction. The open war between the Sinaloa cartel against his family, accompanied by strong federal operations to eliminate his brothers, the main leaders from the late nineties until the 2000s, cornered the Arellano Felix empire in Tijuana. The Arellano's empire collapsed in October 2008, just in the month of Eduardo's birthday, and just with his capture in Tijuana. Over the years, the "Doctor" had to watch the organization that his family had created fall apart.
In 2002, one of the powerful brothers, Ramon, was gunned down at a carnival in Mazatlan, Sinaloa. According to journalist Anabel Hernández, years earlier they had ordered the assassination of the family of one of El Mayo's wives, as well as a car bomb attack against him in Guadalajara, Jalisco. After Ramón's death, Benjamín was arrested. He was sentenced to spend a quarter of a century in a U.S. prison for drug trafficking. Francisco Javier, known as "El Tigrillo," was left in charge, but in 2006, while fishing, he was apprehended by the U.S. Coast Guard. He was also given a quarter of a century in prison.
Eduardo Arellano is presumed to have inherited a criminal organization on the verge of extinction after that war and police persecution. It was his sister Enedina, his son, and he, who continued with the business when the rest of the brothers fell. The war against the Sinaloa brothers continued, however, after his arrest.
The Arellano Felix Cartel monopolized drug trafficking routes for more than 20 years through Tijuana in northwestern Mexico. The 64-year-old Mexican will not complete his sentence as a result of his extensive cooperation with US authorities, which began in May 2013, when he pleaded guilty. Part of his plea agreement with the government included that he would be sentenced on only two of the seven counts on which he was indicted when he was extradited from Mexico in August 2012.