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Colombian cartel head pleads guilty in Miami

Aug 12--A former kingpin for a Colombian drug cartel pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to charges of drug trafficking, obstruction of justice by murder and racketeering, federal officials said.


Diego Leon Montoya Sanchez had faced 15 criminal charges, said Montoya's Miami attorney, Bill Clay.

"As is often the case in plea agreements, there are concessions and benefits a defendant gets," Clay told CNN. "There are benefits that are very valuable to Montoya. Twelve counts will be dismissed at the time of sentencing."

Montoya's plea covered two federal cases. In one, prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office in Miami, Montoya admitted to one count of conspiracy to import more than 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of cocaine into the United States and one count of obstruction of justice by murder, federal officials said.

In the second case, prosecuted in the District of Columbia, Montoya pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage racketeering. That case was transferred to Miami for the plea.
 
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