LAREDO, Texas — Prosecutors say a former high-ranking member of the Zetas cartel in Mexico must serve 30 years in a U.S. prison and forfeit $10 million for his drug-related crimes.

Ivan Velasquez-Caballero of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, was sentenced Friday by a federal judge in Laredo, Texas. Officials say the 47-year-old Velasquez-Caballero is expected to face deportation following his release from prison.

Velasquez-Caballero, known in Mexico as “El Taliban,” agreed to plead guilty in 2014 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

Mexican authorities in 2012 arrested Velasquez-Caballero in the northern city of San Luis Potosi and extradited him to South Texas on drug-related charges.


This story has been corrected to show that the defendant was known as ‘El Taliban’ and not ‘El Talivan.’