BEAUMONT, TX -- A former leader of Mexico's notorious Gulf drug cartel has been sentenced to 30 years in a U.S. prison and fined $100 million.
Juan Francisco Saenz-Tamez was sentenced Tuesday by a judge in Beaumont on drug and money laundering convictions.
Saenz-Tamez, a 23-year-old resident of the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas, was arrested last October during a shopping trip to Edinburg.
Saenz-Tamez pleaded guilty in January to distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, plus conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Prosecutors say Saenz-Tamez was responsible for shipping at least half a ton of cocaine and 90 tons of marijuana into Texas, for U.S. distribution. Investigators believe the drug cartel laundered $100 million.