Regional
5:47 pm
Thu May 6, 2010

Alleged Drug Ring Leader Convicted

El Paso – A man accused of leading an El Paso-based drug ring with alleged ties to Mexico's Sinaloa cartel is going to prison and must forfeit $2 million in cash and assets.

U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo on Wednesday sentenced 38-year-old Rodrigo Rodney Eckenroth.

Eckenroth, who pleaded guilty in December, must serve 240 months for money laundering, 60 months for tax evasion and 240 months for drug trafficking. The sentences will be served concurrently.

Montalvo also ordered Eckenroth to pay a $100,000 fine, make more than $208,000 in restitution to the IRS and forfeit $1.7 million in assets.

Eckenroth was arrested a year ago for allegedly helping to smuggle more than 12 tons of marijuana from El Paso to other parts of the country during the previous two years.

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Information from: El Paso Times, http://www.elpasotimes.com

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.