Suspected Mexican Drug Kingpin Brought to San Diego to Face Charges

Accused drug kingpin Francisco Javier Arellano Felix was brought to the United States Thursday morning after an arrest at sea and rushed to a downtown federal detention center to be booked, authorities said.

Arellano Felix, accompanied by about a half-dozen other men, arrived on a U.S. Coast Guard boat at the agency's harborside facility around 8:15 a.m. The group was escorted to a waiting motorcade as sharpshooters kept watch atop a nearby hanger.

The identities of the men with Arellano Felix wasn't immediately clear.

U.S. authorities announced Wednesday that Arellano Felix had been captured by the U.S. Coast Guard early Monday off the coast of La Paz, Mexico, aboard the U.S.-registered sport boat Dock Holiday.

Arellano Felix was among 11 people charged in 2003 with 10 counts of conspiracy and racketeering. He allegedly conspired to assassinate Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo in 1993 at the airport in Guadalajara, U.S. officials said.

The indictment alleges Arellano Felix, 36, and others moved tons of Colombian cocaine and Mexican marijuana to the United States along the California-Mexico border. The Arellano Felix gang is believed to be responsible for the massive drug tunnels discovered last January.

They are also accused of kidnapping, torturing and killing rivals and bribing Mexican officials. The indictment links Arellano Felix to a 1996 killing in Coronado, Calif., near San Diego, and a 1992 shootout at a disco in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.