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A member of the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel was sentenced Wednesday to more than 13 years in federal prison for smuggling cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States and laundering the proceeds of drug sales.

Oscar Rodriguez-Guevara, 41, of Tijuana, also known as “El Guero Chihuahua,” managed a transportation network smuggling drugs north from Mexico through Southern California ports of entry in vehicles with hidden compartments, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Rodriguez-Guevara was extradited from Mexico to San Diego last year and subsequently pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

In his plea agreement, he admitted to arranging for the smuggling of around 220 pounds of cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States over an 11-month period. He also admitted to supervising the laundering of drug proceeds.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that through wiretaps, federal agents intercepted communications between Rodriguez-Guevara and others discussing the smuggling of drugs and firearms. In addition, when a San Diego stash house was raided, with investigators seizing more than 59 pounds of cocaine, Rodriguez-Guevara messaged an associate saying, “[t]hey hit my office…the one inside,” meaning in the United States.

“These drugs are destroying lives through addiction and violence,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “It is no small victory to bring justice to drug traffickers — particularly those who act on behalf of one of the world’s most violent and prolific drug cartels.”

Five other defendants have also pleaded guilty in the case and been sentenced, while one other defendant is awaiting trial.

— City News Service

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