A formerly powerful Afghan tribal leader was sentenced to life in prison for smuggling heroin into the United States.

Judge Denny Chin sentenced Bashir Noorzai on Thursday in Manhattan federal court.

Noorzai told the judge he cooperated with prosecutors.

The judge said Noorzai knew the heroin his tribe produced was being shipped to places like the United States, where it harmed many people.

Noorzai was convicted last year of smuggling $50 million worth of heroin into the United States.