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El Chapo's Chicago drug associate sentenced to 19 years in prison

  • FILE - This Feb. 22, 2014 file photo shows Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, being escorted to a helicopter in Mexico City following his capture overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan. A judge in Mexico has issued a second arrest warrant to detain escaped drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman based on an extradition request from the United States. The federal prosecutors’ office said Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 the new warrant is for U.S. charges of organized crime, money laundering drug trafficking, homicide and others. Guzman escaped on July 11, 2015 through a tunnel from Mexico's highest-security prison. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)

    FILE - This Feb. 22, 2014 file photo shows Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, being escorted to a helicopter in Mexico City following his capture overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan. A judge in Mexico has issued a second arrest warrant to detain escaped drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman based on an extradition request from the United States. The federal prosecutors’ office said Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 the new warrant is for U.S. charges of organized crime, money laundering drug trafficking, homicide and others. Guzman escaped on July 11, 2015 through a tunnel from Mexico's highest-security prison. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)  (ap)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2014 file photo, Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican Navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2014 file photo, Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican Navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)

A U.S. judge has sentenced a purported associate of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to 19 years in prison for coordinating the deliveries of heroin and cocaine to Chicago.

Tomas Arevalo-Renteria apologized at Wednesday's sentencing in Chicago. The 46-year-old told Judge Ruben Castillo, "I know that I must pay for my mistakes."

Castillo said he didn't factor Guzman's notoriety in calculating Renteria's punishment. He called Guzman the "ultimate head of this beast."

Prosecutors wanted a 25-year term for Renteria. The defense said that would be too stiff for someone not at the top of the Sinaloa cartel's command.

Guzman's named in the same indictment. Prosecutors have indicated they would like him extradited to Chicago. Mexican authorities captured Guzman last year, but he escaped and remains at large.

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