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Sep 3, 2010 6:31 PM by David Ortiviz, News First 5

Mexican drug kingpin gets 27 years in Ariz. prison

A Mexican man who prosecutors call the leader of a group that smuggled tons of marijuana into the U.S. has been sentenced to 27 years in prison and ordered to forfeit $4 million to the American government.

Carlos Molinares Nunez, also known as "Calinche" was charged in November 2006. Authorities believe the 37-year-old led the drug-trafficking ring for the last five years, directing the group's activities from his home base in Naco in Sonora, Mexico. He was arrested in Tucson while staying with his wife's relatives.

Prosecutors say his organization has been linked to violent activity in Mexico, and that Molinares fled to the U.S. for a time to avoid assassination.

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