A federal judge in the Mexican state of Mexico on Tuesday suspended the extradition of infamous drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero to the US.
The ruling follows a series of appeals filed by Caro Quintero’s legal team seeking to halt the move.
Although Mexico’s Attorney General can challenge the decision, Caro Quintero will remain in Mexico for now.
Apprehended on July 15, Caro Quintero, a founding member of the Guadalajara Cartel, one of Mexico’s largest drug cartels, was meant to be immediately extradited to the US, but he managed to halt the process with a federal judge ruling that an extradition trial was in order.
He became one of the FBI’s most wanted men ever since Mexican authorities freed him in 2013 after he spent 28 years in prison.
Two years later, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office issued another arrest warrant for Caro Quintero — this time to be extradited to the US.
US authorities want Caro Quintero for various drug trafficking charges and the murder of US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena.
In 1985, Camarena was working as an undercover agent in Mexico’s drug scene and had managed to infiltrate the highest echelons of the Guadalajara Cartel.
In a joint operation with the DEA in 1984, Mexican authorities seized 4,000 tons of marijuana on a ranch owned by Caro Quintero, the biggest drug bust in Mexico’s history.
Blaming Camarena for the multimillion-dollar loss, Caro Quintero allegedly ordered his kidnapping, torture and murder.
US authorities offered up to $20 million for information leading to Caro Quintero’s arrest.
He has denied involvement in drug trafficking.
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