A federal judge in New York has ordered a 40-year prison sentence for a Colombian drug lord described as one of the biggest heroin dealers ever brought before a U.S. court.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says Ramiro Lopez-Imitola led a criminal gang in Colombia and Venezuela that smuggled more than two tons of heroin, worth over $200 million, into the United States over the past 10 years.
Prosecutors had asked for an even longer sentence (60 years) for the 61-year-old defendant. They said he used brutality, torture, bribery and intimidation in his criminal activities and showed no remorse for his crimes, which included cruel mistreatment of drug couriers suspected of cheating him.
The drugs were smuggled to Venezuela from Colombia before entering the United States. Lopez-Imitola was arrested in Colombia and extradited to the United States two years ago. He pleaded guilty in mid-March to two criminal charges. Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.