Mexican drug cartel leader captured at sea
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    Default Mexican drug cartel leader captured at sea

    Mexican cartel leader captured at sea
    Offshore operation by DEA, Coast Guard led to capture
    From Terry Frieden
    CNN

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006; Posted: 3:33 p.m. EDT (19:33 GMT)

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- One of the most wanted drug lords in the world was captured Wednesday aboard a 43-foot pleasure boat in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico, federal law enforcement officials said.

    The DEA's Michael Braun described the man captured, Javier Arellano-Felix, as "one of the most ruthless thugs that was involved in drug trafficking around the world."

    Law enforcement officials say Arellano-Felix led a violent Tijuana-based cartel that brought multi-ton shipments of marijana and cocaine into the United States and trained body guards and assassins to protect turf and eliminate rivals.

    "To say Javier Arellano-Felix is just another drug trafficker is an understatement," Braun added. "This is not your average arrest ... It's what our job is all about. It's what we live for."

    The Arellano-Felix organization was responsible for a recently discovered, elaborately constructed tunnel under the Mexico-California border, law enforcement officials said.

    And, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty said, the cartel was sophisticated enough to negotiate directly with Colombian drug lords and paramilitary groups for multi-ton shipments of cocaine.

    The DEA lists rewards of $5 million each for the capture of Arellano-Felix and his brother, Eduardo, who federal officials said plays a lesser leadership role in the cartel.

    Federal agents received a tip that the infamous fugitive was to board the vessel Dock Holiday off Mexico's Baja peninsula, along with some other key members of the Arellano-Felix organization, officials said.

    The vessel was about 15 miles off the Mexican coast when the U.S. Coast Guard was ordered to intercept it, officials said.

    Arellano-Felix was traveling under an alias, but eventually confirmed his identity, officials said. Eight other adults and three juveniles also were detained.

    Officials said two of the men in custody are believed to be Arturo Villareal-Heredia and Marco Fernandez, both described by the DEA as "assassins" for the Arellano-Felix organization. Authorities said the two will initially be held as material witnesses, but later will be charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics and other counts.

    The sources say Arellano-Felix is in the custody of the U.S. Coast Guard board the cutter Monsoon. He will be brought ashore in San Diego, where he has been indicted and will be arraigned.

    His brother and several other indicted cartel members remain at large.

    According to the DEA's Web site, members of the Arellano-Felix organization were named in a July 2003 indictment alleging federal racketeering offenses, conspiracy to import marijuana and cocaine and launder money.

    The indictment listed 20 murders in the U.S. and Mexico, McNulty said.

    The Arellano Felix Organization, often referred to as the Tijuana Cartel, was considered one of the most powerful and violent drug trafficking organizations in Mexico, according to the DEA's Web site.

    At the height of its power, the cartel was responsible for the transportation, importation, and distribution of multi-ton quantities of cocaine, marijuana, and large quantities of heroin and methamphetamine into the United States from Mexico--primarily from Tijuana into San Diego and Los Angeles, the DEA says.

    At the beginning of 2002, the cartel was dealt two blows, according to the DEA:

    Ramon Arellano Felix, described as the cartel's enforcer and assassin, died in a street fight with drug trafficking competitors and Mexican police. A month later, Benjamin Arellano-Felix, who the DEA says played the role of the cartel's CEO, was arrested by the Mexican Military.

    The loss of two cartel leaders was "the beginning of the end" for the organization, the DEA's Braun said. With Javier Arellano-Felix's capture, he added, "We've got this brutal organization in a chokehold."
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    Good!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeoHalen
    Arellano-Felix was traveling under an alias, but eventually confirmed his identity, officials said. Eight other adults and three juveniles also were detained.
    Ouch. Someone would be much welcomed behind the bars

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    In other news today, weed skyrockets in price.

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    They need to behead the motherfucker!
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    See, this is how you can tell the US is still business as usual.

    They could have killed everyone on the boat and sank it. They could have grabbed him in the dead of night and whisked him to a secret prison and beat his ass.

    Nope.

    He's got the right to remain silent, a right to an lawyer and a speedy trail.

    Good for us all the way around.
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