Last of the Arellano-Felix Brothers Pleads Guilty

SAN DIEGO (CN) – The fourth and last Arellano-Felix brother pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy.
     Eduardo Arellano-Felix, 56, pleaded guilty Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. More than 20 years ago the Arellano-Felix cartel became the most powerful and brutal drug smuggling organization on the Southwest border. It has since been replaced by a slew of competitors, including one group made up of former Mexican army and police officers.
     U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy called the guilty plea “the end of an era,” though it actually is no more than a changing of the guard.
     According to the statement from Duffy’s office: “In his plea agreement, Arellano-Felix – a medical doctor nicknamed ‘El Doctor’ – admitted he was a senior member of the AFO [Arellano-Felix Organization]. He also admitted that he laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in drug trafficking proceeds and used some of the income to pay AFO members to commit crimes; to buy firearms, ammunition and vehicles; to travel on AFO-related business; to pay bribes; and to purchase drugs. He signed his plea agreement, ‘Dr. Eduardo Arellano Felix.’
     “In connection with his plea, Arellano-Felix will also forfeit $50 million and the parties will jointly recommend that he be sentenced to serve 15 years in prison. Before he was extradited, Arellano-Felix spent almost four years in custody in Mexico, from October 25, 2008 to August 31, 2012. Sentencing was set for August 19.”
     Benjamin Arellano-Felix was caught in 2002 and Francisco Javier Arellano Felix in 2006. They are serving time in U.S. prisons for racketeering, drug trafficking, and money laundering. Ramon Arellano-Felix, the cartel’s enforcer, was killed in a shootout with police in 2002.

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