Suspected Sinaloa Cartel Leader Arrives in San Diego

By Andie Adams
|  Friday, Jul 11, 2014  |  Updated 8:56 AM PDT
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Suspected Sinaloa Cartel Leader Arrives in San Diego

San Diego County Sheriff's Department

A suspected leader of the Sinaloa Cartel arrived in San Diego Thursday after officials extradited him from the Netherlands, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy announced.

Under heavy security, Jose Rodrigo Arechiga-Gamboa – also known as “Chino Antrax” – was flown from Amsterdam into the San Diego International Airport by U.S. Marshals and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

He was booked into federal custody on charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances intended for importation and conspiracy to import controlled substances. He is expected to be arraigned on those charges Friday.

Arechiga-Gamboa served as a bodyguard for the Sinaloa Cartel and the leader of an enforcement group called “Los Antrax,” according to documents supporting his extradition.

Authorities say in that position, Arechiga-Gamboa provided security for narcotics shipments and carried out other enforcement dealings. The suspected member rose to become a leader in the cartel’s highest levels, documents allege.

Ten days after a warrant was issued for his arrest and a federal grand jury indicted him, Arechiga-Gamboa was arrested by Dutch officials on Dec. 30, 2013 while flying from Mexico City to Amsterdam. He was traveling under the fake name “Norberto Sicairos-Garcia.”

Duffy says despite the suspect’s efforts to conceal his identity under significant plastic surgery, a fraudulent Mexican passport and attempting to alter fingerprints, U.S. law enforcement was able to confirm Arechiga-Gamboa’s identity through forensic techniques, though they did not specify what those techniques were.

U.S. officials quickly requested local officials to unseal the indictment against Arechiga-Gamboa, and on May 28, 2014, a Dutch court ordered that the suspect be extradited to stand trial.
 

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