Alleged Mexican Drug Trafficker Extradited to U.S.

A suspected Mexican drug gang leader linked to a 2006 border incursion by armed traffickers into Texas has been extradited by Mexico to the United States., the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas have said.

The U.S. authorities said Saturday that Jose Rodolfo Escajeda, also known as “Rikin,” was extradited to the U.S. to stand trial on marijuana and cocaine trafficking charges.

Escajeda, who allegedly worked for the Juarez cartel, was indicted by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in 2006.

U.S. authorities said that from a base in Guadalupe in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, Escajeda is alleged to have controlled a drug trafficking corridor for marijuana and cocaine in the area of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, located across from El Paso, Texas.

The U.S. has sought his extradition since his arrest by Mexican authorities in September 2009.

In January 2006, at least 10 men in Mexican military-style uniforms crossed the Rio Grande into the United States while on a marijuana-smuggling foray. That led to an armed confrontation with Texas law officers near Neely’s Crossing, Texas, about 50 miles east of El Paso. Both the U.S. officials and the smugglers had their weapons drawn, but no shots were fired. The smugglers escaped back into Mexico, but did leave behind about a half-ton of marijuana.

When he was arrested last year, the Mexican army said in a statement that Escajeda was also presumably responsible for the killing of anti-crime activist Benjamin LeBaron and a neighbor in Mexico.

The battle between the Mexican drug cartels and U.S. authorities is no secret. The cartels in Juarez have forced a spotlight upon themselves due to their proximity to El Paso and the increase of violent crimes within the Mexican city.

U.S. officials have been working closely with the Mexican government to extradite and prosecute alleged drug dealers and traffickers in the U.S. The U.S. judicial and prison system is thought to be more efficient than the comparable processes in Mexico. Moreover, the Mexican prison system is thought to be dangerous, and many offenders are killed in prison before trial ever begins.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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