p0737 BC-DrugKingpin 1stLd-Writethru 08-16 0779


Feds nab drug kingpin

on deep-sea fishing trip

n The Coast Guard caught Mexican drug lord Francisco Javier Arellano Felix deep-sea fishing off Mexico, decapitating a murderous cartel that dug smuggling tunnels under the U.S. border, officials said Wednesday.

Arellano Felix, 36, was captured when the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Monsoon boarded a U.S.-registered sport fishing boat about 15 miles off the coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen told a news conference.

“We’ve taken the head off the snake,” said Michael Braun, chief of operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

DEA agents discovered Arellano Felix’s fishing plans and asked the Coast Guard to seize the boat in international waters.


Illegal immigrant seeks

sanctuary in church

n CHICAGO Immigration activists around the country are taking up the cause of a single mother who invoked the ancient principle of sanctuary and took refuge in a Chicago church rather than submit to deportation to Mexico.

Elvira Arellano, 31, was holed up for a second day Wednesday at Aldalberto United Methodist Church with the support of the congregation’s pastor. With her was her 7-year-old son, Saul, an American citizen. Federal officials said there is no right to sanctuary in a church and nothing to prevent her arrest.


U.S. forces raid

al-Qaida hideouts

n KABUL – U.S. and Afghan forces raided compounds suspected of being al-Qaida sanctuaries in southeastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, seizing weapons and explosives and arresting eight people, the U.S. military said.

Insurgents attacked a Canadian base in southern Afghanistan with mortars, wounding six soldiers, a Canadian military spokesman said. Insurgents also killed one policeman, and wounded another in an attack on a checkpoint in central Afghanistan, an official said.


Judge OK’s keeping

suspects in custody

n LONDON A district judge ruled Wednesday that British investigators have until next week to investigate the suspects arrested in an alleged plot to blow up as many as 10 trans-Atlantic jetliners, saying they could be kept in custody without charge.

Scotland Yard later said a person arrested on Tuesday as part of its investigation into the foiled plot was released without charge. Another detainee was released without charge Friday.

The judicial order was the first major test of a new terrorism law that lets suspects be held for as long as 28 days without charge so investigators can solidify their cases.

The hearing, which addressed the cases of 23 suspects arrested in Britain’s initial sweep last week, was held behind closed doors and attended only by the suspects’ lawyers, investigators and government officials.

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