Life In Prison For Cartel Leader

El Paso – A 40-year-old man called a high-ranking member in a Mexican drug cartel has been sentenced to a life prison term and $100,000 fine on three federal drug conspiracy charges.

Fernando Ontiveros-Arambula, a lieutenant in the Sinaloa Cartel, was convicted March 10 on charges alleging he conspired to smuggle more than 100 tons of marijuana into the United States. He was sentenced Friday.

The U.S. attorney said the jury heard evidence that Arambula was a high-ranking member of the organization fighting with the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes organization for control of the Juarez drug-trafficking corridor.

The jury also convicted 19-year-old Manuel Chavez-Betancourt of a conspiracy charge. He was sentenced in June to 10 years in prison.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.