Mexican cartel kingpin extradited to Texas

April 27, 2010 11:23:45 AM PDT
A Mexican cartel kingpin who fought extradition to the U.S. for eight years is in Texas facing drug and racketeering charges. Juan Jose Quintero-Payan is the alleged head of the Quintero drug smuggling ring who was first indicted by a San Antonio grand jury in 2002. The 68-year-old faces four felony charges that would normally carry a potential life sentence.

But federal prosecutors said Tuesday that Mexican officials extradited Quintero on assurances that a life sentence would not be imposed.

Prosecutors say Quintero moved large volumes of drugs into the U.S. for decades.

Quintero made his initial appearance Monday in a San Antonio courtroom. He is being held in federal custody without bond.