NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Federal prosecutors say a member of a Mexican drug cartel who was in charge of heroin sales in the Nashville area has pleaded guilty to multiple charges.

The office of Jack Smith, acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, said Jorge Andres Lopez Montiel pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin and conspiracy with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine.

Officials say the 26-year-old from Tepic Nayarit, Mexico, agreed to a 17-year sentence.

The prosecutor’s office said in its news release that Montiel had been deported before previously but continued to distribute heroin and later methamphetamine to Tennessee through a network of foot soldiers acting on his commands. Officials say he was taken into federal custody when he illegally re-entered the U.S. in late 2016.

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