(dpa) - Colombian drug lord Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia has been sentenced by a court in Sao Paulo Tuesday to more than 30 years in prison for crimes he committed in Brazil.
Abadia, 44, has been found guilty of money laundering, corruption, criminal conspiracy and use of false documents and was also fined 2.5 million dollars. Hi wife Jessica was sentenced to 11 years and eight other members of the drug gang were also given jail terms.
The renowned drug lord was arrested in August in his luxurious home in Sao Paulo. He had been living in Brazil for three years before being caught and had reportedly undergone 78 face operations to conceal his identity, reported Brazilian police.
Abadia may not serve time in a Brazilian jail as the Supreme Court ruled in March he can be extradited to the United States to face racketeering charges if he is not sentenced to more than 30 years in jail, the maximum allowed under Brazilian law. The US requested his extradition in October.
Judge Fausto Martin de Sanctis in his ruling Tuesday was against extraditing Abadia until he has served his time in Brazil. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will decide whether he stays in Brazil to serve his sentence or is extradited immediately to the United States.
Abadía, a leader of Colombia's powerful Norte del Valle cartel, and other gang members are accused of routinely killing up to 300 competitors and individuals who failed to pay for drugs.
Known as "Chupeta," or "Lollipop," Abadia is estimated to have accumulated 1.8 billion dollars, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
He reportedly offered to give the Brazilian state 30-40 million dollars in exchange for the cancellation of legal proceedings against him in Brazil and a prompt extradition to the US. Brazilian authorities declined the offer.