Alfredo Beltran Leyva, a drug cartel kingpin also known as Mochomo, and his cartel are responsible for importing large quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States. Mochomo was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for his involvement in the drug trade. US Judge Richard Leon handed down the sentence, and denied an attempt for a reduced sentence by arguing that Mochomo had not fully accepted responsibility. Along with the life sentence, Leon handed a $529,200,000 forfeiture, which is probably only a fraction of how much money Mochomo’s cartel moved across the border. Under a plea agreement, Mochomo admitted that he and his cartel helped facilitate shipments of cocaine in South America for close to twenty years. The drugs were moved through Culiacan, Sinaloa and other cities in Mexico, where billions of dollars in US were also collected.
Drug cartels have historically been a source of power and fear in Latin America, and this is just one move in a difficult battle to combat the size and influence of the drug trade in the region.