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Mario Cárdenas during his arrest in 2012. Mario Cárdenas during his arrest in 2012.

Ex-Gulf Cartel boss loses appeal; 20-year prison sentence stands

El Metro may be extradited to U.S. to face further charges

Mario “El Metro” Cárdenas, ex-leader of the Gulf Cartel and brother of former leader Osiel Cárdenas, has lost his appeal against a 20-year prison sentence.

If the former cartel boss stays in Mexico he could walk free in 2032 due to time already served. But it’s possible he will be extradited to the U.S. to face additional charges in Texas, where he is wanted for conspiracy.

A federal judge authorized his extradition in October of last year but Cárdenas petitioned against the order on grounds that Covid represented a health risk.

Navy marines arrested Cárdenas in September 2012 in Tamaulipas, when he tried to enter a building with a large firearm. In addition to the weapon, he was found to be carrying 129,000 pesos (US $6,400 at today’s exchange rate) in cash and four small bags of cocaine.

Cárdenas was originally sentenced in June of 2019, which his lawyers appealed. He previously served time for organized crime after an arrest in 1995. He was further found to be trafficking large amounts of cocaine and marijuana from inside the Matamoros prison, and was transferred to the Puente Grande prison in Jalisco. He was released in 2007.

Cárdenas’ brother Osiel is currently serving a sentence in the U.S. after having been extradited in 2007. He is known for having recruited the paramilitary group Los Zetas as the armed division of the Gulf Cartel. His release is scheduled for 2028.

The Gulf Cartel is based in Tamaulipas but operates in a number of states. Mario Cárdenas served as its co-leader along with Jorge Eduardo Costilla after another brother, Ezequiel Cárdenas, was killed by marines in 2010.

Source: Infobae (sp)

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