A U.S. federal court has sentenced Colombian narcotrafficker Carlos Arture Patiño Restrepo, alias “Patemuro,” to 40 years in prison Wednesday, local media reported.
Patiño was found guilty of smuggling tens of tons of cocaine into the United States during the 1990s until his arrest in 2007. He was in control of a large sector of the cocaine industry in the western Colombian department of Caldas, according to prosecutors.
“Patiño led his cocaine empire with an iron fist, using a terrorist organization for protection and killing those who stood in their way,” said U.S. prosecutor Loretta Lynch.
Patiño was only found guilty of three counts of violating U.S. drug law but prosecutors also implicated him in acts of violence and proved he had ties to paramilitary groups and FARC, she added.
Patiño was also accused of bribing police and paying the AUC paramilitary group to guard his cocaine-processing laboratories.
Judge Leonard Wexler said he took these allegations into account when assigning Patiño a $5 million fine in addition to the 40-year prison sentence.