Colorado

Feb 4, 2010 2:14 PM by Greg Boyce

Drug kingpin sentenced to 17 years

A Mexican drug kingpin who led a fearsome cartel for more than a decade has been sentenced in Denver to 17 years in prison for marijuana and racketeering.  Miguel Angel Caro Quintero was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty last fall.

Caro Quintero pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering in Colorado and one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana in Arizona.  Caro Quintero led the Sonora Cartel, which authorities say smuggled thousands of tons of marijuana and cocaine in the 1980s.

His brother, former cartel leader Rafael Caro Quintero, was convicted in the 1985 torture-slaying of undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena Salazar. Rafael Caro Quintero is in prison in Mexico for Camarena's murder.

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