Mexico Nabs 'King of Heroin'

'Don Pepe' shipped 440 pounds to US every month, say cops
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 25, 2010 4:23 PM CDT
Guarded by police officers, Jose Antonio Medina, aka Don Pepe, center, is presented to the press in Mexico City, Thursday, March 25, 2010.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Federal police have arrested Mexico's so-called "King of Heroin," a powerful drug trafficker allegedly responsible for running hundreds of pounds of heroin into Southern California each year, authorities said today. Jose Antonio Medina, nicknamed "Don Pepe," was arrested in the western state of Michoacan yesterday.

Medina, 36, ran a complex smuggling operation that hauled 440 pounds of heroin each month across the Mexican border in Tijuana for La Familia drug cartel, police said. The White House National Drug Threat Assessment says that while heroin use is stable or decreasing in the US, the source of the drug has shifted in recent years from Colombia—where production and purity are declining—to Mexico, where powerful drug cartels are gaining a foothold in the lucrative market.

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