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Mexican cartel leader 'El Menchito' extradited to U.S.

Accused trafficker Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez, also known as "El Menchito," was extradited to the United States on Thursday and was scheduled for a court appearance in Washington, D.C. File Photo by Alex Cruz/EPA-EFE
Accused trafficker Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez, also known as "El Menchito," was extradited to the United States on Thursday and was scheduled for a court appearance in Washington, D.C. File Photo by Alex Cruz/EPA-EFE

Feb. 21 (UPI) -- A leader in one of Mexico's major drug cartels appeared in a Washington, D.C., court Friday on drug trafficking charges, one day after he was extradited to the United States.

Ruben "El Menchito" Oseguera Gonzalez had been in custody in Mexico since his arrest in 2015, during which time he fought the United States' efforts to have been extradited to face charges there.

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U.S. prosecutors' efforts, though, came to fruition this week amid an increase in extraditions from Mexico after Attorney General William Barr's visit to the country in December.

"The numbers are up dramatically," a U.S. official told The Washington Post, estimating about 40 people have been extradited in recent weeks.

Oseguera Gonzalez faces one count of conspiracy to distribute significant quantities of narcotics for illegal importation to the United States and a single count of use of a firearm during and in relation to one or more drug trafficking crimes.

He's accused of being a top figure in the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel and previously said he's not guilty of the charges.

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