Mexico drug lord pleads guilty to trafficking
The kingpin of a violent Mexican drug smuggling clan has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and racketeering charges, authorities said on Friday, Reuters reported.
Miguel Angel Caro Quintero, 46, pleaded guilty at the U.S. federal court in Denver to one count of racketeering in Colorado and one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana in Arizona, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Caro Quintero, a leader of the Sonora Cartel, faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Feb 4.
He admitted to trafficking more than 100 tons of marijuana between 1985 and 1988, and sending more than $100 million in proceeds back to Mexico.
The Caro Quintero family is one of the most violent and storied in the history of Mexican drug trafficking.
Rafael Caro Quintero -- the elder brother of Miguel Angel -- was convicted of the kidnapping and murder of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena in 1985. He is serving a 40-year prison sentence in Mexico.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon have vowed cooperation to fight Mexican drug gangs. More than 14,500 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since Calderon launched an army-led assault on drug cartels soon after taking office in 2006.
On Thursday, U.S. law enforcement agencies announced they had arrested 303 people in an operation spanning 19 states to strike at Mexico's La Familia Michoacana cartel.
Miguel Angel Caro Quintero was arrested in Mexico's western Sinaloa state in 2001, and was extradited to the United States in February of this year.