May 10 (UPI) -- A U.S. judge sentenced the leader of a Guatemalan drug trafficking ring to life in prison for transporting cocaine into the United States, the Department of Justice said Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly sentenced Waldemar Lorenzana-Cordon, 53, to life in prison after he was convicted on one count of conspiring to unlawfully distribute cocaine for illegal importation into the United States.
"Lorenzana-Cordon's life sentence sends a powerful message to leaders of drug trafficking organizations that, if they send their poison to our country, the United States and our international partners will work tirelessly to bring them to justice, no matter where in the world they may reside," Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan said.
Lorenzana-Cordon and his brother Eliu Lorenzana-Cordon, who was also sentenced to life in prison in February, were accused of storing multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Colombia at their facilities in Zacapa, Guatemala, between 1996 and 2009.
They then used various methods such as go-fast boats, non-commercial light aircraft and vehicles with hidden compartments to transport the drugs through Mexico and into the United States.
Lorenzana-Cordon and his brother also were closely tied to the Sinaloa Cartel and used firearms during criminal activities and used threats of violence to carry out their drug trafficking tasks.
"Global criminal networks operate every day through drug trafficking and violence to assault the rule of law in the United States and around the world," said Special Agent in Charge Raymond P. Donovan. "DEA and our foreign counterparts have worked tirelessly to ensure that Lorenzana-Cordon would spend a significant portion of his life in a U.S. prison cell for his crimes against our great country."