Pedro and Margarito Flores, twin brothers in Chicago, were sentenced to 14 years in prison Tuesday for a drug smuggling operation.
The 33-year-old twins infiltrated the Sinaloa cartel while working undercover for U.S. authorities.
U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said, the brothers' cooperation helped authorities charge 62 defendants and seize 11 tons of cocaine, more than 500 pounds of methamphetamines and about 170 pounds of heroin, according to the Chicago Tribune
. Their assistance led to indictments of cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
The twins ran a nearly $2 billion North American drug ring and would have faced life in prison without their cooperation with U.S. officials, The Associated Press reported
U.S. District Chief Judge Ruben Castillo said the twins would live in worry about retribution from the cartel.
"Even though I am not going to sentence you to life, you are leaving here with a life sentence," he said, according to the AP. "Each time you start your car, you are going to be wondering, is it going to start, or will it explode."
The twins’ drug activities are believed to have led to the kidnapping and murder of their father, and their brother became a drug addict, the Chicago Sun-Times reported
“I’m ashamed, I’m embarrassed and I’m regretful for the bad decisions I’ve made,” Margarito Flores said, according to the Sun-Times. “I put my family in harm’s way and I will never forgive myself. I apologize to the American citizens, the people of Chicago and especially to the people I have harmed.”
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