WASHINGTON, May 13 (UPI) -- Mexican national Aurelio Cano Flores, a high-ranking member of the Gulf Cartel, was sentenced Monday to 35 years in prison for drug-trafficking.
Cano Flores, 40, was given the prison term by a federal judge in the District of Columbia for conspiring to import tons of cocaine and marijuana into the United States, the Drug Enforcement Administration said in a release.
Cano Flores was ordered to forfeit $15 billion in drug proceeds, the federal law enforcement agency said. The money represents the gross receipts federal authorities allege the Gulf Cartel took in from distributing more than 1,500 tons of cocaine and 8,800 tons of marijuana into the United States from 2000 to 2010.
"DEA and its partners use every law enforcement tool possible to bring to justice drug cartel leaders and facilitators who inflict damage on both sides of the border," DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart said.
"Aurelio Cano-Flores used his position as a Mexican police officer to help one of the most violent and brutal drug trafficking organizations in the world bring vast amounts of drugs into the United States. Like many other cartel leaders, he posed a threat to the citizens of both the United States and Mexico. We are confident and pleased that justice was served today by the pronouncement of his lengthy U.S. prison sentence."