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Drug trafficking leader sentenced to 40 years

PHOENIX -- The Mexican national who was a leader of a drug trafficking ring that operated in the Phoenix area has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Artemio Pena-Torrecillas of Sinaloa was sentenced earlier this week. He was found guilty in May of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to commit money laundering and other charges.

Federal prosecutors say Pena-Torrecillas and Cruz Ortega-Ruano led the Phoenix-based ring. They were accused of trafficking exceptionally pure methamphetamine.

Prosecutors say Pena-Torrecillas was responsible for obtaining the meth, hiring drug couriers to drive vehicles equipped with sophisticated hidden compartments to transport the drugs and distributing the drugs to customers.

Ortega-Ruano and others charged in the case pleaded guilty and have been sentenced.

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