Photo: Aurelio Cano-Flores, aka “Yankee” and “Yeyo
Aurelio Cano-Flores, aka “Yankee” and “Yeyo,” a high-ranking member of the Mexican Gulf Cartel, has been extradited to the United States from Mexico to face drug conspiracy charges, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Administrator Michele M. Leonhart of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Cano-Flores, 39, made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola in the District of Columbia, after being extradited to the United States on Aug. 19, 2011. Cano-Flores was ordered detained in federal custody pending trial. Cano-Flores had been in the custody of Mexican authorities pending extradition since his arrest on June 10, 2009.
Cano-Flores was charged, along with 19 other defendants, in a superseding indictment returned on Nov. 4, 2010. He is charged with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana for importation into the United States.
According to court documents, Cano-Flores was a high-ranking member of the Gulf Cartel when it worked in close partnership with Los Zetas, collectively known as “The Company.” The Gulf Cartel allegedly transported shipments of cocaine and marijuana by motor vehicles from Mexico to cities in Texas for distribution to other cities within the United States. The indictment alleges that Cano-Flores, his co-defendants and others organized, directed, and carried out various acts of violence against Mexican law enforcement officers and rival drug traffickers to retaliate against and to intimidate anyone who interfered with, or who were perceived to potentially interfere with, the cocaine and marijuana trafficking activities of the Gulf Cartel.
According to the indictment, from June 2006 until his arrest, Cano-Flores’s role was to oversee drug trafficking activities in Camargo, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, including procuring for distribution significant quantities of cocaine, heroin and bulk marijuana. Cano-Flores also is alleged to have coordinated the movement of illegal narcotics from Mexico into the United States as well as the repatriation of drug proceeds into Mexico. The Gulf Cartel controls most of the cocaine and marijuana trafficking through the Matamoros, Mexico, corridor to the United States. Los Zetas began as the enforcement wing of the Gulf Cartel, but has emerged in recent years as an independent drug trafficking organization.