A Beltran Leyva drug cartel boss and a member of the Tijuana drug cartel were extradited by Mexico to the United States, the Mexican Attorney General's Office said.

Sergio Villarreal Barragan, a leader of the Beltran Leyva cartel, was handed over to U.S. authorities on Tuesday at the Mexico City international airport.

Villarreal Barragan faces criminal conspiracy, money laundering and drug trafficking charges in the United States, the AG's office said.

The U.S. Marshals Service took custody of Villarreal Barragan, who was known as "El Grande" and was wanted by a federal court in Texas, the AG's office said.

Villarreal Barragan, considered the No. 2 man in the Beltran Leyva cartel, was arrested in September 2010.

The Beltran Leyva cartel is involved in smuggling cocaine, marijuana and heroin, as well as in people trafficking, money laundering, extortion, kidnapping, contract hits and arms trafficking.

Villarreal Barragan belonged to the Beltran Leyva cartel from 2007 to 2010, the AG's office said, citing information compiled by U.S. investigators.

He was involved in "transporting cocaine to the United States, as well as in transferring millions of U.S. dollars obtained from the illegal sales of drugs abroad," the AG's office said.

The Beltran Leyva cartel has been weakened by the killings and arrests of several of its leaders, as well as infighting.

The Beltran Leyva cartel arose as a splinter group of the Sinaloa cartel, Mexico's oldest and most powerful drug trafficking organization.

The criminal organization was led by Arturo Beltran Leyva, who died in a shootout with marines at a luxury condo in Cuernavaca, the capital of Morelos state, on Dec. 16, 2009.

Two weeks after Arturo was killed, Carlos Beltran Leyva was arrested in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, where he was going by the alias of Carlos Gamez.

Hector Beltran Leyva took over control of the cartel after Arturo's death, but he had to battle a rival faction led by Edgar Valdez Villarreal for control of the organization.

Valdez Villarreal, known as "La Barbie," was arrested by the Federal Police on Aug. 30, 2010.

Mexican authorities, meanwhile, extradited Tijuana drug cartel member Armando Villarreal Heredia to the United States on Wednesday.

Villarreal Heredia faces criminal conspiracy and drug trafficking charges in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the AG's office said.

He allegedly served as a lieutenant of Tijuana cartel leader Fernando Sanchez Arellano from 2008 to 2010.

Villarreal Heredia was involved in murders, kidnappings, drug smuggling, arms trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities for the cartel, the AG's office said.

He was handed over by Mexican federal agents to the FBI at the Mexico City international airport when "the legal appeals to which he was entitled had been exhausted," the AG's office said.

The Tijuana cartel, once one of Mexico's most powerful criminal organizations, has been weakened dramatically in recent years by the arrests of some of its top leaders. EFE