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Honduran Drug Kingpin Gets Life in Prison

FILE - Honduran drug trafficker Sergio Neftali Mejia Duarte, aka "El Compa," is escorted by members of the Tigres Special Forces following his arrest in Amarateca, 20 km north of Tegucigalpa, Aug. 20, 2017.

A Honduran drug kingpin will spend the rest of his life in U.S. federal prison for his part in an international drug ring.

Sergio Neftali Mejia-Duarte was convicted in January on charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine, knowing it would be smuggled into the United States.

U.S. attorneys said Monday's life sentence imposed upon Mejia-Duarte ends the reign of a ruthless, violent and prolific drug trafficker.

Prosecutors said Mejia-Duarte is responsible for trafficking at least 20,000 kilograms of cocaine from Colombia and Panama, through Honduras and Guatemala, into Mexico and across the border into the United States.

He used boats, helicopters and airplanes, and traveled with heavily armed bodyguards and assassins.

U.S. attorneys also said Mejia-Duarte supplied cocaine to Mexico's notoriously violent Sinaloa drug cartel.