A drug lord known as La Barbie, a leader of the Beltran-Leyva Cartel, was sentenced in federal court to 49 years in prison. The 44-year-old man entered guilty pleas to several charges in January of 2016, including conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to import cocaine and conspiracy to launder money.
If the man completes his prison sentence before he dies, he will then serve 10 years of probation. He is from Laredo, Texas and worked his way up the ranks of the cartel. He was extradited to the U.S. in 2015.
The cartel leader was once a top lieutenant for El Chapo. He used speedboats to take cocaine from Colombia and then into Mexico, and U.S. Justice Department officials said that he began transporting cocaine into the U.S. on tractor trailers beginning in 2004. He would reportedly transport 661 pounds of cocaine into the U.S. two times per week and return to Mexico with the money. He also served as a hitman in the drug world. It is unclear why it took so long after he entered his guilty pleas for him to be sentenced.
Drug offenses are treated seriously under both Texas and federal law. People who are facing drug crimes allegations may want to get help from experienced criminal defense lawyers as soon as they can. Attorneys who have experience in defending against serious drug crimes cases may closely review the evidence against their clients. If they spot problems with the way in which law enforcement investigated the crime or conducted the stop, search and seizure, the attorneys may file motions to seek the suppression of the evidence against their clients.