Eduardo Arellano-Felix is sentenced for money laundering and illicit drug profits
He is one of four brothers who ran the Arellano-Felix drug cartel in Mexico
Two of his brothers are in U.S. prisons; the third was killed in a 2002 shootout with police
Eduardo Arellano-Felix, the last of four brothers who ran the drug cartel in Mexico known as the Arellano-Felix Organization, was sentenced Monday to 15 years in U.S. federal prison for his role as chief financial officer, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.
Arellano-Felix, 56, was sentenced after pleading guilty in May to charges of conspiracy to launder money and to use and invest illicit drug profits.
A medical doctor known as “El Doctor,” Arellano-Felix used drug-trafficking proceeds to pay members of the drug cartel to commit crimes, buy firearms, pay bribes and purchase drugs, according to the plea agreement.
Although Arellano-Felix was not directly involved with kidnapping and killings, he was “still an integral part” and “fully aware of the methods” of the cartel, U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns said.
Arellano-Felix “advised his brothers as they orchestrated the importation of hundreds of tons of cocaine and marijuana into the United States, ordered the kidnap and murder of numerous people, and directed the widespread corruption of law enforcement and military personnel in Mexico,” according to a sentencing memorandum.
In addition to the 15-year prison sentence, Arellano-Felix will forfeit $50 million, the department news release said.
Two of Arellano-Felix’s brothers, Benjamin and Francisco Javier, are in U.S. prisons for racketeering, drug trafficking and money laundering. Ramon Arellano-Felix, whom the Justice Department described as the cartel’s enforcer, was killed in a shootout with police in 2002, the statement said.
Eduardo Arellano-Felix was arrested on October 25, 2008, after a gun battle with Mexican forces. Arellano-Felix was ordered extradited to the United States in 2010 but spent nearly two years on unsuccessful appeals of his case.
CNN’s Carol Cratty contributed to this report.