A federal judge has given the maximum sentence of life imprisonment to an alleged Mexican drug cartel hit man convicted of racketeering, conspiracy and weapons violations.
The Justice Department says Gerardo Castillo Chavez was sentenced in Laredo on Friday for his January convictions.
Castillo, also known as "Cachetes," or Cheeks, was the first of 34 defendants named in the 51-page indictment to go on trial. Fourteen have now been convicted. Another defendant, Eduardo Carreon-Ibarra, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, to be served after completing a previous 20-year sentence.
Prosecutors accused Castillo of participating in a larger drug-trafficking conspiracy run by the Gulf drug cartel and the Zetas terror squad. Court records show the conspiracy's primary objective was moving cocaine and marijuana from Mexico to Dallas via Laredo.