Guatemala extradites alleged drug trafficker tied to Zetas organization to US

An alleged member of the Zetas drug organization in Guatemala has been extradited to the United States.

Jairo Orellana Morales was handed over to agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration under heavy security Friday in Guatemala City. Court records indicate he was scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. federal court in Washington later Friday.

Guatemalan deputy interior minister Elmer Sosa confirmed the extradition.

Orellana was arrested in May 2014 after a shootout with federal forces in eastern Guatemala. The U.S. government had imposed financial sanctions on Orellana in 2013 under the Kingpin Act. The U.S. government described him as a violent drug trafficker who helped the Mexican Zetas cartel move cocaine through Guatemala.

Orellana faces federal drug trafficking charges in Washington.