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Mexican drug lord gets 25 years, gives up $50 million

Osiel Cardenas Guillen headed the Gulf cartel until his capture in 2003. He was extradited to the U.S.
Osiel Cardenas Guillen headed the Gulf cartel until his capture in 2003. He was extradited to the U.S.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sentence handed down Wednesday after drug kingpin's earlier guilty plea
  • FBI: Cardenas Guillen in 1999 threatened to kill an undercover sheriff's deputy
  • He also threatened the lives of two U.S. agents
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(CNN) -- Osiel Cardenas Guillen, the former head of a powerful Mexican drug cartel, was sentenced to 25 years in prison and will forfeit to the United States $50 million in illegal proceeds, a judge ruled.

Cardenas Guillen, 42, was the leader of the Matamoros, Mexico-based Gulf cartel until his capture in 2003. He was subsequently extradited to the United States to face drug trafficking charges in 2007.

U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle handed down the sentence Wednesday, following an earlier guilty plea by the drug kingpin.

Under Cardenas Guillen's leadership, the Gulf cartel was responsible for smuggling thousands of kilograms of cocaine and marijuana into the United States, the FBI said in a news release.

Read the original indictment

According to the FBI, in 1999 Cardenas Guillen threatened to kill a U.S. undercover sheriff's deputy. In another incident, he threatened the lives of two U.S. agents.

"The successful prosecution of Cardenas Guillen underscores the joint resolve of the United States and Mexico to pursue and prosecute the leadership of the drug trafficking cartels, dismantle their organizations and end the violence and corruption they have spawned," U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno said.

Cardenas Guillen pleaded guilty to five felony charges, including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, conspiracy to launder money and threatening to assault and kill federal agents.

Tagle also fined Cardenas Guillen $100,000 and ordered him to five years probation once his sentence is served. He is not eligible for parole.

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