Organized Crime

Man who pleaded guilty to role in Sinaloa drug cartel conspiracy faces 11 years at sentencing

A man who pleaded guilty to his role in one of the world's most notorious drug cartels faces more than 11 years in prison when he's sentenced by a New Hampshire federal judge.

Samuel Zazueta Valenzuela returns to a Concord courthouse for sentencing on Thursday. He pleaded guilty in September to being part of the violent, Mexico-based Sinaloa drug cartel and a plan to ship 1,000 kilos of cocaine and other drugs to undercover agents posing as international drug traffickers.

His lawyer will argue for a seven-year sentence, saying Valenzuela played a minor role and is linked to shipping 346 kilos, not 1,000.

But federal prosecutors say the 40-year-old Mexican citizen says he was directly involved in coordinating the drug shipment federal agents seized in July 2012.