WASHINGTON (AP) — A once-powerful Mexican drug cartel leader and associate of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been sentenced to life in a U.S. prison.
Alfredo Beltran Leyva, 46, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty in February to charges his multibillion-dollar operation smuggled tons of cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States. Beltran Leyva led the organization from the 1990s to his indictment in 2014, as it shipped tons of cocaine from South America to the United States, prosecutors said.
Authorities called him a “Goliath” of drug trafficking. A judge ordered him to forfeit more than $529 million, based on what he described as a conservative estimate of the amount of cocaine Beltran Leyva brought into the United States.
Beltran Leyva led a “campaign of violence and fear that gripped communities across North America,” acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco said.
The organization relied on killings, torture, kidnappings and other violence to sustain its drug trafficking operation, prosecutors said. FBI Assistant Director Stephen Richardson said the life sentence marks an end to the group’s “reign of terror.”
The once-powerful Beltran Leyva cartel was led by Alfredo and his brothers as it grew to prominence as an arm of Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel. The Beltran Leyva group smuggled drugs and ran human trafficking operations, along with enforcement operations for the larger Sinaloa organization.
That relationship soured, according to federal prosecutors, after Alfredo Beltran Leyva’s 2008 arrest. His brothers blamed Sinaloa leaders for his arrest, and the split eventually led to a bloody fight among the two groups at the same time as the Sinaloa cartel was waging a war against the Juarez cartel for control of drug and human smuggling routes in northern Mexico.
The Beltran Leyva gang started to split apart in late 2009, when one brother, Arturo, who took over for Alfredo, was shot dead by Mexican marines and another brother, Carlos, was detained two weeks later. Another brother, Hector, was arrested in San Miguel de Allende.
Guzman is awaiting prosecution in New York following his extradition from Mexico in January.
Survey Indicates Teen Marijuana Use in Colorado is Lower Than National Average
Family of Man Killed by Bulldozer After Growing Pot Sues Police
Ban on Smokable Medical Marijuana Officially Repealed in Florida
High Folks: Yareem Barnes-Ivey Balances the Two Worlds of Cannabis
Knowledgeable Dabbing: A Guide To Our Favorite Quartz Bangers
First Clinical Trial Of Cannabis For PTSD in Veterans Is Now Complete
Missouri Police Raid Hospital Room of Stage 4 Cancer Patient Using Cannabis
Oklahoma House Passes Medical Cannabis Protection Bill
News5 days ago
Indiana State Trooper Seizes $3.5 Million Worth of Cannabis, Vapes
News5 days ago
Colorado Researchers Seeking Volunteers to Get High and Drive
News6 days ago
Study Finds Medical Marijuana Alleviates Seniors’ Pain, Reduces Opioid Use
News7 days ago
Survey Shows 25% of Cannabis Users in Legal States Consume at Work
Legalization6 days ago
Breaking: Connecticut Lawmakers Unveil Plan to Legalize Marijuana
Culture4 days ago
The New “Miss Marijuana” Pageant Comes With Outdated Guidelines and Transphobia
News7 days ago
$2.5 Million Worth of Marijuana Seized at Philadelphia Port
Grow6 days ago
An Interview With Dinafem Seeds: Europe’s King Of Feminized Seeds