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US to seek extradition of Mexican drug kingpin’s nephew

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NEW YORK — Prosecutors in Brooklyn said Monday they intend to seek the extradition of a nephew of convicted Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, a notorious underworld figure who is on the FBI’s most wanted list for the murder of a federal agent over three decades ago.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced the unsealing of an indictment charging Ismael Quintero Arellanes with conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as unlawful use of arms.

Quintero Arellanes, 49, is accused of being an associate of the Caro Quintero drug trafficking organization, a faction of the Sinaloa cartel, prosecutors said. He was arrested in Mexico at the end of January.

Caro Quintero, his uncle, is accused of distributing “massive amounts of illegal narcotics” and also in the kidnapping and murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena in Mexico in 1985.

After spending years in prison in Mexico, Caro Quintero was freed in 2013, a decision that angered Washington. A Mexican federal court has issued a warrant for his re-arrest, but he remains at large.

Ray Donovan, special agent-in-charge of the DEA’s New York Division, said in a statement Monday that Quintero Arellanes’ arrest and indictment are indicative that “the walls are closing in on members of the Sinaloa cartel.”

If extradited and convicted, Quintero Arellanes faces a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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