Mexican drug kingpin gets 18 years in U.S.

Dec. 8, 2011 at 4:11 PM

SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- A Mexican drug kingpin apologized Thursday to "the society of the United States" as he was sentenced to 18 years in a U.S. prison.

A judge also imposed a $250,000 fine on Juan Jose "Don JuanJo" Quintero-Payan, 69, who was originally charged in San Antonio in 1985 and was arrested in Mexico in 1999, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

"I ask for forgiveness to the society of the United States," he said. "I know I have done wrong, and I accept my responsibility."

Gerry Goldstein, Quintero-Payan's lawyer, asked for his client to be sent to a prison in Arizona or Southern California. Goldstein said his client is not in good health, suffering from high blood pressure and kidney stones.

Investigators say Quintero-Payan was a founder of the Juarez Cartel. He pleaded guilty to charges involving the laundering of millions of dollars in drug profits with activities that included large investments in U.S. real estate.

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