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Accused Mexican Drug Boss Appears in US Court

  • Reuters

FILE - Alleged drug dealer Alfredo Beltran Leyva (C) is showed to the media by members of the Mexican Army in Mexico City, Jan. 21, 2008, after being captured in Culiacan, in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, along with three other members of his gang.

FILE - Alleged drug dealer Alfredo Beltran Leyva (C) is showed to the media by members of the Mexican Army in Mexico City, Jan. 21, 2008, after being captured in Culiacan, in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, along with three other members of his gang.

Accused Mexican drug lord Alfredo Beltran Leyva made an initial appearance in a U.S. court on Monday to face charges of shipping cocaine and methamphetamines to the United States, the Justice Department said.

Beltran Leyva, 43, was extradited to the United States from Mexico on Saturday. He was indicted in August 2012 for international narcotics trafficking as a leader of the cartel named for his family.

Beltran Leyva made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay in Washington, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Since the 1990s, the Beltran Leyva Organization, together with the Sinaloa Cartel, allegedly directed a drug transportation network that shipped tons of cocaine and methamphetamines into the United States, the statement said.

At its peak, the Beltran Leyva Organization dominated drug trafficking in western Mexico.

This two-image composite released by Mexico's Attorney General's Office (PGR) Oct. 1, 2014, shows alleged cartel capo Hector Beltran Leyva after his arrest by Mexican law enforcement authorities.

This two-image composite released by Mexico's Attorney General's Office (PGR) Oct. 1, 2014, shows alleged cartel capo Hector Beltran Leyva after his arrest by Mexican law enforcement authorities.

When Mexican special forces arrested Alfredo Beltran Leyva in early 2008, his brothers Hector and Arturo reportedly believed the Sinaloa gang had sold out their sibling, sparking a war with the boss of the cartel.

Arturo Beltran Leyva was killed in a December 2009 shootout with the Mexican army. Hector, the cartel's boss, was captured by Mexican soldiers last month.

In November, the U.S. Treasury Department said the Beltran Leyva gang was responsible for "countless murders" of Mexican anti-drugs and military personnel.

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