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Lab tests not yet completed as FBI continues attempts to identify remains as Arellano

March 15, 2002|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

FBI officials say they are still working to determine whether a man killed by Mexican police in Mazatlan on Feb. 10 was Ramon Arellano Felix, the enforcer for one of the most notorious drug cartels in the world.

Jan Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the FBI in San Diego, said the FBI has not completed its laboratory tests on samples from the man whose remains were taken from a morgue in Mexico and cremated. She said such tests are expected to be finished next week.

While the FBI is continuing its tests, Mexican authorities have reported DNA tests have conclusively shown the man killed Feb. 10 was Ramon Arellano, who was on the FBI's 10 most wanted list.

According to The Associated Press, Mexico Assistant Attorney General Juan Jorge Campos said Mexican authorities compared blood from Benjamin Arellano Felix, who on Saturday was arrested in Puebla, Mexico, with DNA evidence collected from a blood-stained shirt the man who was shot Feb. 10 was wearing.


Tests showed the samples had a ‘‘genetic affinity'' that proved the dead man was Benjamin Arellano's brother, Campos said at a news conference Wednesday.

Caldwell said this morning she cannot say whether the man killed was Ramon Arellano. She would not comment on statements made by Mexican authorities.

U.S. authorities have reported Benjamin Arellano has told them Ramon was killed by Mexican police. Benjamin Arellano had reportedly set up an altar to his brother at his home.

Caldwell said authorities are not relying on statements made by Benjamin Arellano.

Both Ramon and Benjamin led the Arellano Felix cartel with Benjamin serving as the brains of the operations.

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent from San Diego, Donald Thornhill, said recently he is confident based on photographs of Ramon Arellano and of the man killed by police that the man is indeed Ramon Arellano.

The Arellano Felix family has control over drug trafficking in areas including Tijuana and Mexicali. There are other brothers and sisters in the family, but authorities have said the loss of Benjamin and Ramon could be a big hit to the cartel.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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