Agence France-Presse

Mexico extradites suspect in US consulate killing

The Mexican national flag flutters above Mexico City's Zocalo square.
Credit: Omar Torres

Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, a drug gang leader in Mexico, has been extradited to the US to face charges that he played a role in the execution of a US consulate employee two years ago.

Gallegos Castrellon is suspected of ordering the killing of the American consulate worker on the streets of Ciudad Juarez in an attempt to control a drug smuggling route, according to Reuters. He was handed over to US officials earlier this week.

Gallegos Castrellon appeared Friday before US Magistrate Robert Castaneda in El Paso and is being held without bond, reported the Associated Press. If convicted, he could face life in prison. No attorney has been listed for Gallegos Castrellon in court records.

Gallegos Castrellon's Barrio Azteca gang ordered the killing of the consulate worker on the northern border because members thought she had given visas to members of a rival gang, although some say she didn't and that it was a case of mistaken identity, according to Reuters. Two other people, including the employee's American husband, were also shot dead in their cars during the two attacks in March 2010.

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Gallegos Castrellon is the 33rd of 35 named in a 12-count indictment in US custody, reported the AP. Twenty-four of those who have been charged have pleaded guilty and another has committed suicide.

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