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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
June 19, 2007
Contact: Dan Simmons
(858) 616-4166

Francisco Rafael Arellano-Felix Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking

JUN 19 --United States Attorney Karen P. Hewitt announced that Francisco Rafael Arellano-Felix pled guilty in federal court in San Diego today before United States District Judge Irma E. Gonzalez, without a plea agreement, to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and to possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The plea comes nine months after Francisco Rafael Arellano-Felix was extradited to the United States from Mexico, is based upon an indictment handed up by a grand jury sitting in San Diego on August 13, 1980.

The indictment arose out of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) undercover investigation into a cocaine and heroin distribution organization operating in the San Diego, California area. At the direction of the DEA, a cooperating source began negotiating with members of this organization to purchase multi-pound quantities of cocaine. During the investigation, DEA identified Arellano-Felix as a supplier of the cocaine.

In his plea, Arellano-Felix admitted that in late 1980 he was a member of a cocaine distribution conspiracy, including co-defendant Ramon Torresillos-Rendon. Arellano-Felix also acknowledged that he was aware of the fact that Torresillos-Rendon had been negotiating to sell cocaine to an individual, who later turned out to be a DEA undercover agent. Arellano-Felix further admitted that he was one of four individuals who delivered nine ounces of cocaine to the undercover agent on August 7, 1980, that he personally took payment for the cocaine, and that he was counting the money at the time agents placed him under arrest.

Following his arrest, Arellano-Felix was held in custody from August 7, 1980, until on or about September 8, 1980, when he was released after posting a $150,000 bond and promising to appear at all future court appearances. Arellano-Felix appeared for a pretrial hearing on October 7, 1980, and was ordered to return to court for trial on October 8, 1980. However, Arellano-Felix did not appear for court on October 8, 1980; instead, he fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution. Arellano-Felix was extradited to the United States on September 17, 2007.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 17, 2007, at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Gonzalez.
DEFENDANT Case Number: 80cr0561-IEG

Francisco Rafael Arellano-Felix Age: 57 Republic of Mexico


Count One -- Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, Title 21, United States Code, Section 846 and 841(a)(1); Count Two -- Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (approximately 205 grams/9 ounces), in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1). Maximum penalties for each offense: 15 years in prison $250,000 fine Minimum 3 years special parole.

Drug Enforcement Administration


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