US & Canada

Mexican drug boss Arellano Felix pleads guilty in US

Benjamin Arellano Felix stands in his home the day of his arrest in Puebla, Mexico 9 March 2002
Image caption Benjamin Arellano Felix's cartel brought in hundreds of millions of dollars

A Mexican drug cartel boss has pleaded guilty to racketeering and conspiracy to launder money in a US court.

Benjamin Arellano Felix, 58, considered one of the world's most powerful drug lords in the 1990s, was extradited to the US in 2011.

According to court documents his cartel tortured and killed rivals in the US and Mexico while smuggling hundreds of tons of marijuana and cocaine.

Arellano Felix faces up to 25 years when he is sentenced on 2 April 2012.

The Tijuana-based cartel, known as the Arellano Felix Organisation, smuggled along the Mexico-California border.

Its operatives were known for dissolving the bodies of cartel enemies in vats of deadly corrosives.

Benjamin Arellano Felix is accused of leading the cartel from 1989 until his arrest in 2002, overseeing its drug trafficking operations and the kidnapping and murder of rival traffickers, informants and members of the security forces.

The group began to lose its influence when Arellano Felix was arrested in Mexico in 2002.

He was sentenced there in 2007 to 22 years in prison for drug trafficking and organised crime charges.

Four years later he was extradited to the US, where he will now avoid a trial after pleading guilty.

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