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Colombian drug kingpin sentenced in U.S.

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Edgar Vallejo Guarin was arrested in Spain in 2008
  • He was extradited to the United States in 2010
  • He pleaded guilty to running a drug-smuggling operation

(CNN) -- A Colombian drug kingpin who pleaded guilty to smuggling thousands of kilos of cocaine into the United States was sentenced to 22 years in prison, the Justice Department said Thursday.

Edgar Vallejo Guarin was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz Wednesday.

Vallejo, 50, was also fined $1 million. A plane worth more than $2 million was also seized, and more than $10 million in drug proceeds in accounts around the world have been forfeited, the department said.

In court documents submitted with his guilty plea, Vallejo admitted to running a drug operation that oversaw the shipments of thousands of kilos of cocaine from Colombia to the United States in boats, freighters and airplanes. The drugs arrived in cities like Houston, San Juan and New York, where Vallejo ran criminal groups, in addition to Detroit and Chicago.

Vallejo was indicted in 2001, but he remained a fugitive until 2008, when he was captured in Spain. He was extradited to the United States in 2010.

The case against him was the result of a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI and Colombian National Police, the Justice Department said.