UPDATED 9:22 AM PT – Wednesday, August 25, 2021
The U.S. recently deported one of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords who once led a cartel that smuggled hundreds-of-millions of dollars in narcotics. On Monday, U.S. officials handed Eduardo Arellano Felix over to the Mexican Army and Attorney General’s Office at a border crossing.
The cartel boss was coming from a Pennsylvania federal prison, where he served time after he pled guilty to laundering money for his family’s cartel. Arellano Felix has been a topic of controversy after the U.S. indicted him in 2003 for drug smuggling and money laundering. Officials even went so far as to offer a reward of up to $5 million for his capture.
— Iris Rodriguez (@IrisNews) August 23, 2021
In 2008, he was captured by Mexican security forces after a shootout in Tijuana, but was ultimately sent back to the U.S. in 2012. He’s the last of four brothers in connection with the drug trafficking ring who have been either killed or sent to prison.
Nonetheless, Republicans like congressman Chip Roy (R-Texas) has warned that cartels continue to pose an active threat at the southern border. He also warned the Biden administration’s weak border policies are empowering criminals like Felix.
“These policies by the administration often in the name of compassion, I think it’s the opposite, a false name of compassion,” Roy stated. “Open borders are empowering the cartels, allowing them to make more money moving people and we’re seeing the abuse of people increase with more people driving up to the border.”
In the meantime, experts say Arellano Felix’s organization is continuing to operate due to alliances with other powerful cartels at the border.