The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking the extradition of an alleged lead assassin of the Sinaloa drug cartel following his arrest by Mexican authorities last week.
“Yesterday, Mexican authorities arrested Néstor Isidro Pérez Salas, also known as ‘El Nini,’ who we allege is one of the Sinaloa Cartel’s lead sicarios, or assassins,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday.
“Until his apprehension, El Nini led security operations for the Chapitos and we allege that he and his security forces murdered, tortured, and kidnapped rivals, witnesses, and others who opposed the Chapitos,” Garland said.
The DOJ is now seeking the alleged assassin’s “swift extradition” to the U.S.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Garland announced charges against 23 members of the Sinaloa Cartel, an organization “responsible for operating one of the deadliest and most prolific drug trafficking operations in the world.”
According to the DOJ, the fentanyl crisis in the U.S. is largely fueled by the Sinaloa Cartel and “Chinese precursor chemical and pharmaceutical companies.”
President Joe Biden also weighed in on the capture of El Nini, saying his arrest is a “testament to the commitment between the United States and Mexico to secure our communities against violence, counter the cartels, and end the scourge of illicit fentanyl that is hurting so many families”
“We will continue working as strong partners to do everything possible to hold criminals accountable for jeopardizing public health and safety in our two countries,” Biden said.
There have been over 7,500 drug overdoses in the State of Maine in 2023 so far, with 462 overdose fatalities, according to the most recent state statistics.
In almost 80 percent of the fatal overdoses in 2023, fentanyl — often in combination with other drugs — was found to be the cause of death.