SAN DIEGO – Rafael Francisco Arellano-Felix, oldest of the Arellano-Felix brothers, who run one of Mexico’s most powerful and violent drug cartels, was sentenced Monday to six years in federal prison for conspiring to possess cocaine with intent to distribute it.
He pleaded guilty in June to selling 9 ozs. of cocaine to an undercover DEA agent in 1980. Mexico extradited him to the United States in 2006. The DEA agent in charge of San Diego called the sentencing “an ominous message” to drug dealers, though critics might argue that six years in prison for the leader of a cartel that has imported hundreds of tons of cocaine and killed hundreds of people, sometimes after torture, is hardly ominous.