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Mexican Drug Cartel Leader Receives 30 Years in U.S. Prison

  • VOA News

FILE - Ivan Velazquez-Caballero, of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, the alleged leader of the Zetas cartel in Mexico known as "El Taliban," is escorted to a media presentation in Mexico City, Sept. 27, 2012.

A U.S. judge in the state of Texas has sentenced a Mexican drug cartel leader to 30 years in prison.

The judge in Laredo, Texas, also ordered Ivan Velasquez-Caballero, a high-ranking member of the Zetas cartel in Mexico, to pay a fine of $10 million for his drug-related crimes.

Velasquez-Caballero was arrested by Mexican authorities in 2012 and was extradited to the United States to stand trial. He agreed to plead guilty in 2014 to importing and distributing narcotics.

Velasquez-Caballero is expected to be deported to Mexico once he is released from prison.

Record homicide rate

Earlier Friday, Mexican officials said June had the highest homicide rate for any month in at least two decades. Officials say 2,234 people were murdered in June with the most homicides in Guerrero, a drug cartel stronghold in the south of the country, and in Mexico, surrounding the capital's federal district.

Officials say the one-month total brings the number of homicides in Mexico for the first half of 2017 to a record of 12,155. They say that is a 30 percent increase from the same period in 2016.

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