EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A Sinaloa cartel member implicated in the 2009 kidnapping and subsequent murder of a Horizon City, Texas man was extradited to the United States Friday, according to U.S. Attorney John Bash.
Luis Arellano-Romero (aka “Bichi,” “Bichy,” “Helio”), 44, was extradited from Mexico to face federal racketeering charges in the Western District of Texas. Arellano-Romero was initially charged in the same 2012 federal grand jury indictment as Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera and 22 other Mexican nationals associated with the Sinaloa cartel.
The 14-count indictment charges Arellano-Romero with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cocaine, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to possess firearms and murder.
Specifically, Arellano-Romero served as a bodyguard in the Sinaloa cartel and was allegedly tasked with targeting members of the Juarez cartel as part of an assassin squad.
The indictment references two specific murders, including the widely publicized kidnapping of Sergio Saucedo, a known drug-dealer who had allegedly lost a 670-pound load of marijuana that was seized at the Sierra Blanca checkpoint.
School children being dropped off at a bus stop in Horizon City witnessed Saucedo’s kidnapping in broad daylight on September 3, 2009. His tortured and mutilated body was found days later in Juarez.
A second referenced incident includes the May 2010 kidnapping and murder of four people, including a U.S. Citizen, who was taken from a wedding in Juarez. In that case, the groom, his brother, and uncle, along with a fourth wedding guest were found dead in the back of a pickup truck in Juarez days after the wedding.
Several other members of the Sinaloa cartel have already been tried and convicted in connection with the initial indictment.
If convicted, Arellano-Romero faces up to life in federal prison.