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El Barbas at his arrest in 2007. El Barbas at his arrest in 2007.

Former Gulf Cartel boss in Reynosa gets 28 years

El Barbas ran drugs into Texas among other crimes

A federal judge has sentenced the ex-leader of the Reynosa, Tamaulipas, wing of the Gulf Cartel to 28 years in prison for organized crime and possession of illegal weapons.

At the height of his power, Juan Óscar “El Barbas” Garza Azuarato was considered one of the principal drug traffickers between Reynosa and McAllen, Texas. His crime cell was also involved in human trafficking in collaboration with other criminal organizations in Chiapas and Tabasco, weapons sales and extortion of Reynosa businesses.

According to a U.S. Senate report from 2011 on drug trafficking organizations in Mexico, the Gulf Cartel is one of the oldest cartels in Mexico and was the most powerful crime gang when former president Felipe Calderón began his war on drug cartels in 2006 and used the military to capture or kill 25 of the 37 most wanted drug lords in Mexico.   

Garza was also fined 315,026 pesos (US $14,310).

It was the second time Garza has been sentenced. He was sentenced to prison in 2010, but an appeals court overturned that decision and ordered a new trial, which resulted in the new, 28-year sentence.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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