By Jim Kouri
The Mexican government has finally extradited to the United States the alleged woman who created the first drug trafficking “corridor” up Mexico’s Pacific coast into California, according to a law enforcement source in Washington, D.C.
Sandra Avila Beltran, who was dubbed Queen of the Pacific by law enforcement and Mexican drug-traffickers alike, was handed over to the American authorities on Saturday to face cocaine trafficking charges. Mexican Federales (federal police) accuse her of having played a major role in building the powerful Sinaloa Cartel in the 1990s working with the gang’s leader Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman.
Only the drug gang Los Zetas rivals Sonaloa as the most powerful and deadly organized crime gangs in Mexico.
Guzman became Mexico’s most wanted man since 2006, when President Felipe Calderon sent the army out to battle drug gangs. Beltran became Mexico’s most wanted woman.
Beltran was nabbed on organized crime and money laundering charges in Mexico and had been fighting extradition by claiming double jeopardy since she would be tried for the same crimes twice, according to the Law Enforcement Examiner’s source who works as counter-narcotics agent in various nations.
The judge ordered Beltran to be extradited to the United States so she can face charges for smuggling more than 200 lbs. of cocaine into Chicago in 2001, but not for allegedly bringing over nine tons of the drug into a Mexican port, according to the source, who frequently worked undercover.