A Mexican man wanted in the United States for drug trafficking was detained as he prepared to board a flight to the northeastern city of Fortaleza for Tuesday’s World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Mexico, Brazilian authorities said.
Brazilian Federal Police and Interpol agents arrested Jose Diaz Barajas shortly before midnight Monday at Rio de Janeiro’s international airport.
Diaz Barajas, 49, had tickets for the World Cup contest in Fortaleza.
The suspect, who was staying at a Rio hotel with his wife and their two sons, ages 17 and 29, entered Brazil last Wednesday from neighboring Paraguay.
Spotting Diaz Barajas’ name on an Interpol wanted list, Brazilian immigration authorities notified police, who in turn contacted their U.S. counterparts.
Federal Police tracked the Mexican to Rio de Janeiro and kept him under surveillance while waiting to hear back from the United States.
Once U.S. officials formally requested his extradition, Supreme Court Judge Marco Aurelio Mello issued a warrant for the arrest of Diaz Barajas, Federal Police international liaison chief Luiz Cravo Dorea said Tuesday.
U.S. prosecutors accuse Diaz Barajas of producing methamphetamine for export to the United States, Dorea said.