Alleged Mexican drug lord taken to Texas

SAN ANTONIO, April 27 (UPI) -- An alleged Mexican drug lord was extradited to Texas to face charges of violating drug and racketeering statutes, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.

Juan Jose Quintero-Payan, 68, of Guadalajara, Mexico, has been fighting extradition since his arrest after a San Antonio grand jury returned an indictment in 2002 and a warrant was issued, the department said in a release.


After Quintero returned to San Antonio Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Pamela Mathy ordered that he remain in federal custody without bond pending further criminal proceedings.

The indictment alleges Quintero led a criminal operation that spanned from South America and Mexico to the United States and the Cayman Islands from 1978 to 2002, the Justice Department said.

He was accused of moving loads of marijuana to the United States from Mexico -- amounts of up 15,000 pounds at a time -- via tanker trucks. He also is accused of shipping to the United States as much as 1,540 pounds of cocaine.

The indictment outlined the movement of more than $20 million in U.S. currency into banks in the United States and in the Cayman Islands. The document also alleged real estate acquired in Texas and California was related to the drug enterprise's operations and included ranches, airstrips and residences.


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