SAN DIEGO (AP) - Four accused leaders of the Arellano Felix drug
cartel have refused to enter pleas to racketeering and drug charges
in San Diego several weeks after being extradited from Mexico.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy Bencivengo (ben-sah-VEEN-go) entered
not guilty pleas Friday on their behalf.
Attorneys for Jesus "Chuy" Labra told reporters their client should not have been extradited because he was in the midst of a trial in Mexico on essentially the same charges.
Authorities say the Arellano Felix cartel, which rose to power in the 1980s in Tijuana, Mexico, joined forces with Colombian drug lords and smuggled tons of cocaine into California.
Labra was considered to be the cartel's financial brains and one its founding leaders.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)