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Suspected cartel ex-leader sentenced

The suspected former leader of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel was sentenced Monday to 16 years in a U.S. federal prison after pleading guilty to a cocaine-trafficking charge in San Diego.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The suspected former leader of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel was sentenced Monday to 16 years in a U.S. federal prison after pleading guilty to a cocaine-trafficking charge in San Diego.

Hector Palma Salazar appeared in federal court to enter his plea on the charge, which dates to 1995. He will be deported to Mexico upon completion of his prison term, the U.S. attorney's office said.

The fair-haired, 49-year-old Palma _ known as Senor Rubio, or "Mr. Blond" _ was among 15 people extradited to the U.S. in January 2007 as part of a Mexican crackdown on drug cartels.

Palma served 12 years in Mexico on bribery and weapons charges before his extradition.