Former Juarez cartel leader and cofounder Vicente Carrillo Fuentes has been sentenced to 28 years in prison by a judge in Mexico.

The Mexican Attorney General's Office announced it on Tuesday. Carrillo Fuentes, also known as "Viceroy," has been in jail in Mexico since his arrest in 2014 in Coahuila, KRQE reported

Carrillo Fuentes inherited his brother's drug cartel after Amado Carrillo Fuentes, known as "The Lord of The Skies," died in a botched plastic surgery in 1997. Prosecutors said Carrillo Fuentes took over the drug cartel that year and continued his brother's business of smuggling drugs.

U.S. authorities said the Juarez cartel was the most powerful drug-trafficking organization in the world during the mid-90s.

Amado Carrillo Fuentes was known to use a fleet of cargo planes to transport cocaine from South America and tons of marijuana from Southern Mexico to clandestine runways south of the U.S. border.

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Vicente Carrillo Fuentes' Sentence in Mexico

Vicente Carrillo Fuentes' sentence came nearly seven years after his arrest due to numerous legal actions being done by the former Juarez cartel leader to prevent any conviction.

The Mexican Attorney General's Office said the 28-year sentence against Carrillo Fuentes includes charges ranging from organized crime, money laundering, drugs, and weapons possession.

He's currently under federal indictment on the Eastern District of New York on charges of running a continuing criminal group, firearm offenses, and other drug-related charges as the Juarez cartel leader. Reports said the U.S. still wants him to answer federal charges in New York. 

In 2019, then-U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said that Carrillo Fuentes was responsible for transporting thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the U.S.

Donoghue added that the former Juarez cartel leader also conspired to murder his cartel's rivals while earning tens of millions of dollars from drug trafficking.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's then-chief, Michele Leonhart, earlier lauded Mexico for catching "one of history's most notorious drug traffickers," France 24 reported.

The Juarez Cartel

The Juarez cartel is one of the oldest and most powerful criminal groups in Mexico. Based in Ciudad Juarez, a city on the border with the U.S. state of Texas, the Juarez cartel fought against the Sinaloa cartel for control of the major drug transit route.

Juarez cartel's history traces back to the 1980s when the Ciudad Juarez area was still under Rafael Aguilar Guajardo's control. Aguilar Guajardo, one of the leaders of the Juarez cartel, has also worked closely with the Guadalajara Cartel.

Aguilar Guajardo was granted control of Juarez after the Guadalajara cartel's leader, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, was arrested, Insight Crime reportedWhen Aguilar Guajardo was killed in 1993, his lieutenant, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, quickly assumed control of the Mexican drug cartel.

Under Amado, the cartel grew aggressively, controlling at least half of all Mexican trafficking and extending its operations to Central America and South America. The Juarez cartel has managed to move thousands of tons of Colombian cocaine into Mexico by air and then into the U.S. by land.

Aside from Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, their brother Rodolfo also joined the cartel's leadership after Amado died. However, a power struggle ensued between the two brothers. The two brothers, and their nephew Vicente Carrillo Leyva, eventually established a firm command after some infighting.

Juarez cartel has also long collected a tax for letting groups use its "plaza" or drug trafficking corridor. It had also relied on alliances to operate nationwide.

The Mexican drug cartel has also created the Linces, who is in charge of protecting cartel members and transporting drugs. The group Linces was composed of around 80 Mexican army deserters.

In 2019, a faction of the cartel called La Linea was linked to the massacre of nine dual U.S.-Mexican citizens from a Mormon community. Until now, the remnants of the Juarez cartel are reportedly still battling rival groups around Ciudad Juarez.

READ MORE: El Chapo's Sinaloa Cartel Continues to Thrive Despite the Drug Lord's Absence: Report 

This article is owned by Latin Post

Written by: Mary Webber

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