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Colombian drug lord gets 16+ years in US prison

MIAMI (AP) – A Colombian cocaine kingpin has been sentenced to more than 16 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to U.S. drug trafficking charges.

A judge in Miami imposed the relatively lenient sentence Tuesday on 47-year-old Jaime Alberto Marin-Zamora, a former leader of Colombia’s North Valley cartel. He had faced up to 24 years, but prosecutors recommended less because of his assistance in other cases.

Marin-Zamora pleaded guilty in October to charges that he and others smuggled some 30 tons of cocaine into the U.S. from 1999 to 2004.

Marin-Zamora initially backed out of a plea deal because a life sentence was still possible.

He was captured on an island off Venezuela in September 2010. The U.S. has arrested and convicted several top leaders of the North Valley cartel.

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