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U.S. Officials Arrest Mexican Drug Cartel Operative Near Los Angeles

Aired 7/4/12 on KPBS News.

U.S. officials announced Tuesday the arrest of a woman thought to be a key link between a major Mexican drug trafficking organization and U.S. distributors.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested a woman suspected of being a top U.S. operative for a Mexican drug cartel.

Annel Violeta Noriega Rios was arrested at her home in El Monte, east of Los Angeles. Officials said Noriega Rios was wanted in Mexico on charges related to organized crime and drug trafficking. She has no criminal record in the U.S.

Mexican authorities allege the woman worked for La Familia, a drug trafficking organization based in the central-western state of Michoacán. She’s suspected of helping supervise the distribution of methamphetamine in California and Washington state.

Following her arrest, U.S. officials deported Noriega Rios to Mexico, where she is now in custody.

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