NECMF

Dec 7, 2015 5:32 PM

Drug cartel member sentenced in NH to 17 years in prison

The Associated Press

CONCORD (AP) — The last of four members of a violent international drug cartel has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for his role in trying to expand the empire's reach into the United States.

Rafael Humberto Celaya Valenzuela, part of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel run by drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was sentenced Monday in federal court in New Hampshire.

At trial, secret video and audio recordings showed Valenzuela conspiring with fellow cartel members and undercover FBI agents to distribute up to 2,200 pounds of cocaine into the U.S.

The 40-year-old Valenzuela had faced more than 30 years in prison.

Guzman escaped from prison in 2001 and ran the cartel from hideouts and safe houses across Mexico. He was recaptured in February 2014 then escaped again in July.

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