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Border & Immigration

Trial Date Set for Arellano-Felix

Trial Date Set for Arellano-Felix

The trial of the alleged leader of the Arellano-Felix drug cartel will begin the second week of January 2008. Under the trial schedule set by a federal judge in San Diego government prosecutors must decide if they'll seek the death penalty by mid-October. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

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Jury selection in the case against Francisco Javier Arellano-Felix and one of his alleged top lieutenants, Arturo Villareal, will begin November 27th. Charges against the men include drug trafficking, conspiracy and murder. Two more supposed top ranking cartel members may also be added to the case. Brothers Ismael and Gilberto Higuerra Guerrero were recently extradited from Mexico. The prosecution plans to ask all four men be tried together. Though, the government will not seek the death penalty against the brothers.

Defense attorneys for Arellano-Felix objected to the trial schedule. They argued they need more time to prepare. However, Judge Larry Burns says people respond to deadlines. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.