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An associate of the drug cartel once run by El Chapo has been charged with participating in an international drug conspiracy

An associate of the drug cartel once run by El Chapo was charged with participating in an international drug conspiracy in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Ismael Quintero Arellanes, 49, also known as Fierro, was arrested in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico January 29. An indictment against him was returned under seal by a grand jury in July 2018 and unsealed Monday, the release said.

Quintero Arellanes was charged with “participating in an international conspiracy to manufacture and distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana and unlawful use of firearms” during his time as part of the Rafael Caro Quintero drug trafficking organization. That organization is a faction of the Mexican organized crime syndicate known as the Sinaloa Cartel, once run by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

“As alleged in the superseding indictment, the defendant conspired with members of the Caro Quintero drug trafficking organization to flood the United States with large quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana,” United States Attorney Richard Donoghue said in the release.

The indictment alleges that Quintero Arellanes participated in the production and trafficking of drugs from February 2015 through June 2018. He distributed marijuana internationally from January 1980 through June 2018 and used firearms to support his trafficking, the release said.

The US is seeking extradition of Quintero Arellanes from Mexico to face the charges against him.

Quintero Arellanes faces a minimum of 20 years in prison with the possibility of life in prison if convicted.

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