2 Laredo men get prison in cocaine, money ring

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Associated Press

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 9:32 AM

LAREDO, Texas (AP) — A South Texas man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and must forfeit $6 million for helping run a cocaine ring with ties to Illinois and Pennsylvania.

A federal judge in Laredo on Monday sentenced 43-year-old Laurencio Montes in a case involving drug money laundering by the Zetas cartel.

Montes and 28-year-old Jose Luis Gonzales in October pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder drug proceeds. Gonzales was sentenced Monday to five years in prison and must forfeit nearly $3 million.

Both Laredo men were indicted in 2011. Prosecutors say Montes helped organize the ring. Gonzales recruited truck drivers to haul the cocaine to Dallas, Chicago and Philadelphia for distribution.

Investigators seized about $21 million from trucks, other couriers and stash homes in Texas and Illinois.

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