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.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]