LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A reported member of the Mexican drug cartel allegedly involved in four murders appeared in a Downtown L.A. courtroom Monday, smiling throughout the proceedings.

Jose Signs’ expression appeared fitting considering one of his aliases was “Smiling Joe Peanut.”

KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports Signs was the alleged head of the financial arm of the Zetas cartel.

He was picked up last fall in Mexico, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list.

Signs is charged in four murders, including that of his girlfriend, whom he’s accused of kidnapping and raping before her death in 1998. He’s accused of fatally shooting two men weeks before, believing they belonged to a rival gang.

Since then, officials say he had been traveling undetected in Mexico and the U.S.

Signs is scheduled to appear in court Friday morning, where the District Attorney’s Office will ask to consolidate the murder cases into one trial.


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