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Alfredo Beltran Leyva Sentenced to Life in US Prison

Image: Alfredo Beltran Leyva Sentenced to Life in US Prison

Alfredo Beltran Leyva after capture in Mexico. (OMAR TORRES/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 06 Apr 2017 09:22 AM

Alfredo Beltran Leyva, once one of Mexico's most powerful drug kingpins, was sentenced to life in a U.S. prison on Wednesday.

Prosecutors had charged Beltran Leyva with transporting large sums of cocaine and methamphetamine to the United States, reported CNN. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon also forfeited $529.2 million of funds, based on "extremely conservative" estimates of the amount of cocaine Beltran Leyva allegedly moved to the U.S.

Beltran Leyva, 46, was indicted in 2012 for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine for importation into the United States, according to a Justice Department statement. He was extradited from Mexico to the United States in 2014, and pleaded guilty on Feb. 23, 2016.

"For well over a decade, the defendant commanded a major Mexican drug trafficking organization that imported ton-quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States and led a campaign of violence and fear that gripped communities across North America," said acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco.

"Through close cooperation with our foreign counterparts, the United States brought this international drug-trafficker to justice, significantly disrupted the flow of narcotics into the United States and stemmed the tide of destruction wrought by this violent cartel."

USA Today said Beltran Leyva's attorney, Eduardo Balarezo, asked Leon to impose a 25-year term, saying his client had accepted responsibility for his actions.

"I ask forgiveness for the behavior that brought me here," Beltran Leyva said in Spanish in front of Leon. "And I apologize to God – the highest authority – and to my children... I ask you to have mercy on me and let me one day return to my family."

Leon compared Beltran Leyva to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, head of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel who was recently extradited from Mexico to New York where he is awaiting trial.

"Alfredo Beltran Leyva is one of the 'Goliaths' of Mexican drug traffickers known for his savage business tactics and responsible for flooding the United States with illegal drugs," said Drug Enforcement Administration special agent in charge James J. Hunt.

"This sentencing exemplifies law enforcement's commitment to bringing justice to the victims of drug abuse through successful prosecutions of the highest echelon of drug traffickers."

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Alfredo Beltran Leyva, once one of Mexico's most powerful drug kingpins, was sentenced to life in a U.S. prison on Wednesday.
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2017-22-06
Thursday, 06 Apr 2017 09:22 AM
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