Suspected Sinaloa Drug Cartel Assassin Known as "El Nini" Has Been Extradited to the US

The Justice Department announced that a suspected top assassin in Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel has been extradited to the United States. He will face charges related to drug and weapons smuggling.

Nestor Isidro Perez Salas, also known as “El Nini,” was a key member of the Sinaloa Cartel. He was responsible for carrying out acts of violence such as murder, torture, and kidnapping against rival individuals and witnesses who posed a threat to the cartel’s illegal drug trafficking operations. Attorney General Merrick Garland made this statement after Perez Salas was extradited on Saturday morning.

“According to Garland, we also claim that El Nini was involved in the Sinaloa Cartel’s manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl, including in the United States,” stated Garland.

The United States had offered a reward of up to $3 million for any information that could help in catching Perez Salas. He is wanted for various crimes including trafficking fentanyl, cocaine, and weapons.

He is believed to be a close friend of the sons of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who is currently in prison for life in the United States.

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In November 2023, he was arrested in the city of Culiacan in northwest Mexico. This happened less than a week after President Biden and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador promised to work together more closely to fight drug trafficking, particularly the trafficking of the strong synthetic drug fentanyl.

“El Nini was a significant member of the dangerous Sinaloa Cartel, which is one of the most deadly drug trafficking organizations globally,” stated Mr. Biden on Saturday. “The United States has accused him of being involved in illegal fentanyl trafficking and of committing murder, torture, and kidnapping against many rivals, witnesses, and other people.” Today is a great day for justice.

When Mike Vigil, who used to be in charge of international operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, talked to the Associated Press about Perez Salas when he was arrested, he called him “a complete psychopath.” Vigil also said that it is a positive thing for Mexico that Perez Salas is no longer able to continue his activities.

In 2023, there were over 107,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S., as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 70 percent of them were caused by Fentanyl.

The U.S. government states that fentanyl is frequently produced using materials obtained from China. It is then transported into the United States through the Mexican border by drug traffickers, particularly the Sinaloa cartel.

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