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Mexico extradites Texas-born cartel smuggler who threatened to sever fingers of 8-year-old girl

February 8, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Mexico extradites Texas-born cartel smuggler who threatened to sever fingers of 8-year-old girl

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Mexico extradites Texas-born cartel smuggler Luis Gerardo Betancourt 

A previously convicted human smuggler tied to a Mexican cartel was extradited from Mexico to serve life behind bars in the U.S. The smuggler was sentenced in absentia while on the lam for abducting and threatening to cut off the fingers of an 8-year-old child.

Last week, FBI agents and the Mexican government extradited Texas-born Luis Gerardo Betancourt, a fugitive tied to cartel-related kidnapping in the city of Pharr, Texas. He was arrested in Mexico back in October. News4SanAntonio reported.

In July, Betancourt was handed a life sentence in absentia by U.S. District Judge Randy Crane. The sentence came after he was found guilty of human smuggling and kidnapping.

Before his trial was slated to begin, Betancourt fled to Mexico until he was apprehended by local authorities.

The case was launched in November 2015, when a Mexican woman illegally residing in Florida arranged for her 8-year-old daughter to be snuck into Texas. The smugglers, headed by Betancourt, started making calls demanding over $18,000 or they would kill the girl. They threatened to cut off her body parts to push the deal.

FBI agents tracked the number and questioned Betancourt, who repeatedly denied his role in the case. The criminal indictment claims he lied to investigators during the probe.

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