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U.S. authorities nab final member of Mexican drug brotherhood

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The extradition Friday of alleged Mexican drug cartel leader Eduardo Arellano Félix to the U.S. capped a 20-year fight by authorities to corral the group of brothers they believe presided over much of the rise in drug-related violence around the two countries’ borders.

According to KNSD-TV, Arellano Félix is due to make his first U.S. court appearance on Tuesday.

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“I do have a level of personal satisfaction,” said former federal prosecutor John Kirby, who helped draft the indictment that led to the capture of Eduardo Arellano Félix and his three brothers. “Finally, Eduardo, the last one.”

Kirby told U-T San Diego Eduardo Arellano was “the senior adviser” to the cartel’s former leader, Benjamin Arellano Félix, who was handed a 25-year jail sentence by a federal court after being extradited from Mexico last year.

Eduardo Arellano, who allegedly ordered at least three murders between 1991 and 1996, had been arrested in 2008 by Mexican authorities and fought an extradition order for two years before it was finally granted to U.S. prosecutors.

Francisco Javier Arellano Félix was captured by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2006 and is currently serving a life sentence; and another brother, Francisco Rafael Arellano Félix, was deported to Mexico four years ago after he served a six-year U.S. sentence for selling cocaine. The cartel’s “enforcer,” Ramón Arellano Félix, was killed in Sinaloa in a shootout with authorities six years ago.

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Watch KNSD’s report on the extradition of Eduardo Arellano Félix, published Saturday, here.

View more videos at: http://nbcsandiego.com.

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