Alleged Sinaloa Cartel member extradited to US from Italy
New York (AP) - A former Mexican federal policeman accused of drug trafficking for the Sinaloa cartel was extradited to the US from Italy this week, the US Department of Justice said Thursday evening.
Ramón Santoyo-Cristobal, also known as “Dr. Wagner “is accused of participating in a long-standing conspiracy to transport methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin from Mexico to the USA and to have laundered drug revenues in the millions. He was indicted by a grand jury in the southern district of California in 2016.
According to a press release from the Justice Ministry, the 44-year-old Santoyo-Cristobal was a refugee for almost three years until he was arrested in Rome in 2019. He denied extradition to the US in Italian courts, which rejected his arguments.
Santoyo-Cristobal arrived in San Diego on Wednesday and made a first appearance in front of a judge on Thursday.
The case is part of a five-year investigation into the southern district of California that has led to indictments against over 125 people, according to prosecutors.
"This research has also provided one of the most comprehensive views yet of the inner workings of one of the most productive, violent and powerful drug cartels in the world," the press release said.
Convicted drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who was the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, is serving a life sentence in the United States after being convicted of drug trafficking on an industrial scale in 2019.
Mexican officials said Thursday they wanted ex-officials charged with corruption charges in their home country, but Mexico is still ready to extradite drug traffickers. The comments came after the US agreed to end a known case against former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos, whose arrest in Los Angeles last month enraged Mexico for drug trafficking and money laundering.
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