The son of one of Mexico's most wanted drug lords has been extradited to the U.S. to face trafficking and weapons charges, court records show.
Rubén Oseguera-González, known as "El Menchito," is now in Washington, where he's expected to appear in court Thursday afternoon. U.S. law enforcement has described him as a former second-in-command of the powerful Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
The cartel is run by his father "El Mencho" Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, who is considered one of Mexico's most wanted fugitives. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest.
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The cartel leader's son had been fighting extradition since his 2015 arrest in Mexico. He was taken to the U.S. Thursday night by DEA agents and members of the U.S. Marshals Service.
His lawyer could not immediately be reached.
Oseguera-González is charged with distributing drugs in the U.S. from 2007 to February 2017 and using a gun during his alleged trafficking activities. His extradition has triggered fears of possible retaliation in Mexico.
The Associated Press reported that the U.S. Embassy issued a security alert saying "following previous high-profile security operations, criminal groups operating in Jalisco have responded by taking retaliatory actions including an increase in anti-government rhetoric (banners and internet threats) and blockades inside the city and on interstate highways."
"On some occasions, these criminals have seized private vehicles and set them on fire," according to the alert.
The Justice Department in 2018 announced a series of actions designed to dismantle the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, including the unsealing of several indictments against top members and designations by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Founded in 2011, the organization has grown into one of the largest and most dangerous in Mexico. The DEA has estimated that it exerts influence in 75% of Mexican states, including key drug production corridors.
“We will continue to hammer transnational criminal organizations like the Cartel de San Jalisco Nueva Generacion, then Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a 2018 statement.
Jonathan Dienst is a reporter for WNBC-TV in New York, leading its investigative reporting team and covering justice and law enforcement issues.
Rich Schapiro is a reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit.