The defendant’s brother was a Gulf Cartel “plaza boss” who was killed a decade ago by other members of his cartel, according to prosecutors.
Federal prosecutors announced that a cocaine trafficker working for one of the most ruthless criminal organizations in the world received a 15-year prison sentence.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen sentenced the defendant, Lee Villareal of Rio Grande City, to 180 months in federal prison on Monday after he was convicted on a charge of “conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine” in July 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a news release.
The 39-year old prisoner is the brother of a deceased Gulf Cartel “plaza boss,” Michael Villarreal, who was killed in 2013 by members of his own cartel, the DOJ noted.
Prosecutors said Lee Villareal operated a stash house in Mission, and was responsible for trafficking cocaine to the U.S. from Mexico and Panama in a “large-scale cocaine distribution network.” He also funneled proceeds from the sale of illegal drugs back to the Gulf Cartel.
The DOJ indicated 12 other people have been convicted in connection to the trafficking conspiracy.
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Cocaine Trafficker Linked to Gulf Cartel Receives 15-Year Prison Sentence