A Miami federal judge sentenced a former Columbian cocaine trafficking kingpin to 45 years in federal prison. Federal prosecutors allege that Diego Montoya Sanchez trafficked in excess of 1.2 million pounds into the United States through Miami and other South Florida locations. Represented by a very experienced Miami cocaine trafficking lawyer, Sanchez repeatedly apologized for his life of cocaine trafficking and murder. After his extradition from Columbia, Sanchez was indicted in Miami for cocaine trafficking, racketeering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.
Sanchez was the famed head the North Valley cartel which came to the forefront of Columbian cocaine trafficking when the Cali and Medellin cartels were shut down by the United States and Columbia governments. The North Valley cartel was responsible for the importation of 1.2 million pounds of cocaine into Mexico and the United States. The cocaine had a street value of 10 billion dollars. Sanchez was also implicated for ordering the murder of a former associate turned informant.
Sanchez never aspired to become the head of one of the largest cocaine trafficking rings in the world. Both Sanchez and his Miami criminal lawyer both expressed remorse and explained to the federal judge that they both hoped that others who wish to engage in cocaine trafficking understand the path of destruction it causes. According to a statement provided by the defendant, he began his career in the cocaine trafficking trade as a low level driver and messenger for a friend who ran a cocaine laboratory. He eventually learned the trade and opened his own cocaine lab.
Despite the recent arrests, convictions and prison terms imposed on Columbian cocaine traffickers, new cocaine trafficking rings take over from where the old ones left off. Even though the North Valley cartel has been disbanded, others choose to grow and cultivate coca plants and make millions of dollars. Cocaine trafficking remains big business in Columbia, and despite law enforcement's attempts to stop the cocaine trade, it continues to operate unabated.
Former Drug-Cartel Leader Sentenced to 45 Years, The Morning Call, October 21, 2009.