Zetas leader "El Taliban" makes courtroom appearance in McAllen

Press conference for arrest of Zetas Leader El Taliban // Mexican Navy Image

Authorities had heavy-duty security at McAllen's federal courthouse after a jailed Zetas drug cartel leader made a court appearance on Thursday afternoon.

Ivan Caballero-Velasquez appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Micaela Alvarez in McAllen at 1 p.m. Thursday.

The jailed Zetas leader, who goes by the nickname "El Taliban," is facing a March 2008 federal indictment for drug trafficking and money laundering.

Marines with the Mexican Navy arrested Caballero-Velasquez during a daring raid at a home south of the border in San Luis Potosi back in September 2012.

Mexico extradited the Zetas leader to Laredo back in November 2013 but Caballero-Velasquez will go on trial in McAllen where his court case is filed.

Caballero-Velasquez has been in custody since his extradition but his case is still not ready to go to trial.

With several of Caballero-Velasquez's family members present in the courtroom, Judge Alvarez set the next court date in the case for April 7th.

Both the U.S. Marshals and McAllen police had an increased presence around the courthouse for the hearing.

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