Mexico City Mexico extradited accused drug kingpin Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix to the United States on Saturday, making him the first major Mexican drug lord to be sent north to face trial on drug charges.
Mexico's extradition of the man who once ran the Arellano Felix drug clan was a victory for U.S. officials who have been pushing Mexico to send them more drug lords.
After serving a 10-year sentence in Mexico, Arellano Felix was loaded into a helicopter to the Mexican border town of Matamoros, then flown across and handed over to Texas officials in Brownsville. He will be taken to California to face trial on charges stemming from a 1980 case in which he allegedly sold cocaine to an undercover police officer in the United States.
U.S. authorities requested Arellano Felix's extradition on June 2, 2003. A federal judge approved that request in 2004, but it took two years for the Foreign Relations Department to approve the extradition.