On Wednesday September 30th, Mexico extradited 13 convicted criminals to the United States associated with drug trafficking, including two top drug lords and a man accused in the killing of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Mexico in 2011.
Among those sent to the United States were Édgar Valdez Villarreal, known as “La Barbie,” a top lieutenant to the late Arturo Beltrán Leyva who later led his own faction of the Beltrán Leyva cartel, and Jorge Costilla Sánchez, known as “El Cos,” an alleged former leader of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, federal prosecutor Tomás Zerón said.
Zerón stated that the extradited group also included José Manuel García Sota, who is charged in the 2011 killing of ICE agent Jaime Zapata in San Luis Potosí.
Some of the prisoners were housed at Mexico’s maximum security facility, Altiplano, said a Mexican official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Altiplano was the scene of the escape in July by the world’s most powerful drug lord, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. It is the place where Mexico houses many captured top drug lords.
Valdez, who was arrested in 2010, faces drug trafficking charges in Texas, Louisiana and Georgia. Costilla, who was arrested in 2012, was charged in 2002 in the Southern District of Texas with cocaine and marijuana importation and distribution, money laundering, and threatening federal law enforcement officers with assault, kidnapping or murder, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
“These extraditions would not have been possible without the close collaboration and productive relationship the Department of Justice enjoys with officials at the highest levels of law enforcement in Mexico,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.
The other prisoners that will be extradited are Martín Castillo Rascón, Aureliano Montoya Peña, Ricardo Valles de la Rosa, Luis Hernández Celis, Alberto Núñez Payán, Julio César Valenzuela Elizalde, Antonio González Platas, Antonio Reynoso González and Carlos Montemayor.
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