Regional
10:07 am
Fri July 9, 2010

Life In Prison For Drug Ring Leader

El Paso – A 36-year-old Barrio Azteca gang member will spend the rest of his life in prison for leading a cocaine distribution ring in El Paso.

Gualberto Marquez was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distributing narcotics earlier this year.

Marquez is one of nine Barrio Azteca gang members who have been sentenced for their roles in the trafficking ring. Prosecutors say he led the group that distributed more than 400 pounds of cocaine in El Paso and Midland.

U.S. authorities have said the Barrio Azteca gang is closely aligned with the Juarez drug cartel, which has been fighting since 2008 for control of Ciudad Juarez, just across the Rio Grande from El Paso.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.