U.S. authorities say they have arrested a Mexican national alleged to be the leader of an international drug-trafficking ring.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says authorities arrested Augustin Haro-Rodriguez late Sunday as he tried to cross from Mexico into the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona.

An indictment unsealed after the arrest said Mr. Haro-Rodriguez's organization smuggled nearly 5,000 kilograms of cocaine into the United States between March, 2004, and July, 2005.

Prosecutors say 17 members of the smuggling ring are now in custody.

If convicted, Mr. Haro-Rodriguez faces a possible sentence of life in prison.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.