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Mexican drug kingpin Arellano Felix sentenced to 25 years

Arellano felix

A federal judge in San Diego sentenced former Mexican drug kingpin Benjamin Arellano Felix to 25 years in prison Monday.

Arellano Felix was also ordered to forfeit $100 million.

The former head of the Tijuana-based cartel, Arellano Felix was captured by Mexican authorities in 2002 and extradited to the United States last year.

In January, he pleaded guilty to racketeering and money-laundering charges, admitting that the organization he led generated hundreds of millions of dollars in profits that it used to bribe Mexican officials and equip assassination squads with weapons that easily overmatched police firepower.

The cartel was responsible for as many as 1,000 homicides, according to investigators, and it popularized the grim practice of dissolving victims in barrels of caustic liquids. Many of the cartel's enforcers were San Diego gang members, some trained by Middle Eastern mercenaries.

Arellano Felix, who will be in his early 80s when eligible for release, also faces jail time in Mexico.

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Photo:  Benjamin Arellano Felix is shown on March 9, 2002, the day of his arrest at his house in Puebla, Mexico. Credit: Associated Press

 
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