US sentences 'Queen of Pacific' to 70 months
The "Queen of the Pacific," one of the most notorious women linked to Mexico's drug trade, was sentenced Thursday to 70 months, which a US judge considered already served.
Sandra Avila Beltran had been charged with being an accessory after the fact in keeping another drug lord from being apprehended.
The decision was handed down by US federal Judge Michael Moore, who determined that the five years Avila Beltran spent in Mexican prison and the 11 months she remained in custody after being extradited to the United States would cover the sentence.
She will soon be deported.
A prominent figure in Mexico's infamous Sinaloa cartel, Avila Beltran, 52, reached a plea deal that resulted in the sole charge.
Avila Beltran was sentenced for being an accessory after the fact in helping her former boyfriend -- Colombian Juan Diego Espinosa, nicknamed "El Tigre" -- avoid arrest.
He had served as a key liaison between the Sinaloa and Colombia's Norte del Valle cartel.
Avila Beltran was arrested on September 28, 2007, south of Mexico City. Her lawyers had previously won three appeals to avoid her extradition.
She had been accused of belonging to a trafficking organization dedicated to buying and transporting drugs between Colombia and the United States from at least January 1999 to March 2004, Mexican prosecutors had said.
In her beige uniform and leg shackles, the "Queen of the Pacific" smiled Thursday at the sentencing. She will be deported to Mexico in the coming days.
Avila Beltran gained notoriety by smiling for the cameras and inspiring books and even a well-known ballad.