On July 7, the Department of Justice announced Eleazar Medina Rojas, a Mexican national known as Chelelo, has made his initial appearance in the District of Columbia to address allegations of international cocaine and marijuana trafficking.
According to court documents, between 2000 and 2010, Medina Rojas was associated with the Zetas, an international drug trafficking organization in collaboration with the Gulf Cartel. Operating under the collective name “The Company,” these groups were purportedly engaged in the production, distribution, and importation of large quantities of cocaine and marijuana from various countries, including Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Panama, and the United States. Medina Rojas is alleged to have held a high-ranking position within the organization, overseeing drug trafficking activities in the city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
The charges stem from a fourth superseding indictment issued by a grand jury in the District of Columbia in May 2013. However, it was only in December 2018 that Mexican authorities arrested Medina Rojas following a provisional arrest requested by the United States. After several years of detention in Mexico pending extradition, he was ultimately extradited to the United States on July 6.
The charges against Medina Rojas specifically include one count of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, with the alleged intent and knowledge that these substances would be imported into the United States. If convicted, he could face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, with the maximum penalty being life imprisonment.
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