Drug cartel boss extradited from Holland to SD

SAN DIEGO - An alleged lead enforcer of a powerful Mexican drug gang extradited to the United States from the Netherlands Thursday was arraigned in San Diego federal court Friday on a charge of conspiracy to import controlled substances.

Jose Rodrigo Arechiga-Gamboa, also known as "Chino Antrax," waived his right to a detention hearing and was ordered held without bail. A motions hearing was set for Aug. 22 before U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Arechiga-Gamboa on Dec. 20 and a sealed warrant for his arrest was issued the same day.

Arechiga-Gamboa was arrested Dec. 30 at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam at the request of U.S. officials. He was traveling under the pseudonym "Norberto Sicairos-Garcia" and was taken into custody as he deplaned a KLM flight from Mexico City.

The indictment was unsealed Jan. 3 in San Diego. According to documents filed in support of extradition, Arechiga-Gamboa worked for the Sinaloa Cartel as a bodyguard and as head of an enforcement group called "Los Antrax."

Arechiga-Gamboa allegedly assisted the trafficking organization by providing security for narcotics shipments and conducting enforcement operations, eventually rising through the ranks to become one of its highest level leaders.

Though Arechiga-Gamboa traveled with a fraudulent Mexican passport obtained by assuming the identity of a dead person, underwent significant plastic surgery and tried to alter his fingerprints, U.S. law enforcement officials were able to confirm his identity through forensic techniques, authorities said.

A Dutch court considered the extradition request and on May 28 ordered that Arechiga-Gamboa be removed to the United States to stand trial on the narcotics trafficking offenses.

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