The head of a Mexican drug cartel known as “El Huevo,” or The Egg, has been indicted on federal drug and gun trafficking charges following his arrest that set off a round of attacks that closed U.S. border crossings and an American consulate on the border near Texas.
The indictment was unsealed Tuesday in San Antonio against Juan Gerardo Trevino-Chavez, 39, of Laredo, Texas for his alleged role as the leader of the Cartel del Noreste, the Northeast Cartel, the Justice Department said. The gang is an offshoot of the Los Zetas, a feared cartel known for torturing and killing rivals in brutal ways.
He was extradited to California on Tuesday after being flown from Nuevo Laredo to Tijuana. He was handed over to U.S. agents across the border.
He faces 11 counts, including money laundering and conspiracy to import cocaine. He faces up to life in prison.
Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard called Treviño’s arrest “one of the most important apprehensions in the last decade.” Trevino was born in the United States, said Ricardo Mejia, Mexico’s assistant secretary of public safety.
After his arrest on Sunday, members of Trevino’s gang shot at a U.S. consulate in Nuevo Laredo, which sits directly across from Laredo, Texas. Consulate employees were told to shelter in place and American citizens were told to avoid the area.
The gangs also disrupted traffic early Monday by blocking roads with spike strips and set fire to trailer trucks. Two U.S. border brides leading to Laredo were also temporarily closed.
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The Mexican government said Trevino is also the boss of “Tropas del Infierno,” a gang of hitmen.
Reuters and well as The Associated Press contributed to this report.