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Mexico extradites 10 drug suspects to US

Associated Press - December 31, 2008 5:25 PM ET

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexico sent 10 alleged drug smugglers to the United States today, capping an already record year for extraditions between the two countries.

Several were high-ranking members of Mexico's most powerful drug gangs, including the Gulf and Tijuana-based Arellano-Felix cartels. Mexico's Attorney General's office says that the suspects will face charges in California, Texas, Florida and Georgia.

U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza praised the action as another example of President Felipe Calderon's determination to go after Mexico's drug cartels.

Today's group brings the number of suspects extradited to the United States to 95 this year, 12 more than in 2007.

Juan Carlos de la Cruz Reyna, a former state police officer who allegedly became a top operative of the Gulf Cartel, will face charges in Texas for threatening to kill U.S. federal agents cooperating with Mexican authorities.

A U.S. Justice Department spokesman says none of the 10 will face the death penalty.

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