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Ex-Gulf Cartel boss gets life sentence for drug conspiracy

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BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Mexican national who headed the Gulf Cartel from 2003 to 2012 was sentenced Thursday to life in prison and ordered to pay a $5 million forfeiture after pleading guilty in a U.S. court to drug smuggling conspiracy.

A federal judge in Brownsville, Texas, sentenced Jorge “El Cos” Costilla-Sanchez, 51, for conspiring to ship cocaine and marijuana from Mexico into the United States. Costilla-Sanchez was arrested in 2012 in Mexico and extradited to the U.S. in 2015. He entered his plea in September 2017.

U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. noted that Costilla-Sanchez led an organization that used guns and intimidation to maintain control, resorting to violence and killing to keep power.

“This was a long but very important case to the district and especially our partners in Brownsville,” said U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lowery in a statement. “The life sentence speaks for itself. Justice has now been served.”

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