US judge gives ‘El Chapo’ associate a 28-year prison term

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced a former lieutenant to Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo ” Guzman to 28 years in prison after rejecting prosecutors’ claims that he offered Chicago street gang members $25,000 to beat a government witness.

Judge Ruben Castillo said 35-year-old Jesus Raul Beltran Leon must pay the price for being a “very significant drug dealer” during the sentencing in Chicago on Tuesday.

Leon told Castillo that he’s sorry for his role in the Sinaloa cartel and regrets what he did. He pleaded guilty to trafficking charges this year. Prosecutors had requested a 35-year sentence. The defense wanted 10 years.

Castillo said prosecutors didn’t prove Leon asked gang members to attack a key government witness , but if he had believed the claim, Leon’s sentence would have been longer.

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