05/15/2015 00:05 EDT | Updated 05/14/2016 01:12 EDT

Mexican national living in southern Alberta extradited to U.S. in drug case

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - A Mexican national who has been living in Lethbridge, Alta., has been sent back to the United States to answer to drug trafficking charges.Javier Batista Cervantes was handed over to U.S. marshals in Calgary earlier this week and flown to Colorado where he is wanted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency on charges in an international drug importation operation.Police allege Cervantes, 35, is a cartel-connected fugitive who was indicted in 2010 with six others for the importation of cocaine from Colorado to Canada.Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams, Lethbridge police and the DEA officers launched an investigation on April 30, 2010, after Calvin Wayne Skidmore of Coalhurst, Alta., was arrested at the Del Bonita port of entry by U.S. customs and border protection officers.Officers searched Skidmore’s vehicle and found 46 packages of cocaine concealed in hidden compartments.Skidmore pleaded guilty in a related case in Montana and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.Hector Armondo Chavez, another Mexican national who was also living in Lethbridge, was extradited in January of this year from Lethbridge for his role in the operation.If convicted of conspiracy, Cervantes could face a sentence of no less than 10 years and up to life in federal prison, as well as up to a $4,000,000 fine.He could also face a prison term of up to four years and a $250,000 fine, per count, If he is convicted of two charges of using a telephone for drug trafficking.(CTV Calgary)