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Sinaloa Cartel’s ‘Engineer’ of border tunnels gets prison time

March 6, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Sinaloa Cartel’s ‘Engineer’ of border tunnels gets prison time

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A businessman from Mexico and  Sinaloa cartel associate, known as the ‘Engineer’ of border tunnels who was indicted on charges of drug smuggling back in 1995, was sentenced to 97 months behind bars on Friday.

Antonio Reynoso Gonzalez, 72, will spend less than five years in prison because he was given credit for 40 months of time served, which included jail time in Mexico while he awaited his extradition to the U.S. This means that his sentence will be reduced to 57 months, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

As JammedUp News previously reported,  elderly Reynoso was one of 23 individuals indicted in 1995 for drug smuggling. The indictment named Joaquin Loera “El Chapo” Guzman as the leader of the organization.

Antonio “The Engineer” Reynoso-Gonzalez, seen here in 2015, has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges.

Guzman went on to become the most infamous cartel leader in Mexico for over a decade, initially evading capture and then escaping twice from prison before he was extradited to the U.S. in January.

The drug lord is currently in New York awaiting trial on a 17-count indictment on charges of running a transnational criminal enterprise, which oversaw the trafficking of narcotics into the U.S.

Reynoso played a minor role in the organization. His family had owned a food importing company in Los Angeles, court records indicated, which Guzman used to add a cover of legitimacy to his drug smuggling business.

Reynosa was one of 13 most wanted drug lords extradited to the U.S. in 2015

In his plea deal reached in November, Reynoso confessed to leasing a warehouse in Mexico, knowing that it would be used to stock drugs.

He also acknowledged that he arranged for an 858-pound shipment of cocaine from Los Angeles to Chicago back in 1994.

After the 1995 indictment, Reynoso lived in Mexico for years, which aggravated U.S drug enforcement officials. He was arrested in November 2013, in Mexico City.

Nearly two years later, he was extradited to the U.S. along with 13 of the most wanted drug traffickers.

Since the first large smuggling tunnel was found in the San Diego area in 1993, at least two dozen complete cross-border tunnels have been found along the U.S.-Mexico border from San Diego to Tecate.

During his appearance on Friday, Reynoso was apologetic for his behavior as his wife, three adult children, and other relatives watched silently.

His attorney, Paul Turner, said his health has declined over the past few years, and that he also has heart disease

Reynoso gained the nickname “The Engineer” for his role in pioneering one of the first large-scale, cross-border drug border tunnels built underneath the U.S-Mexico border in 1993.

The tunnel originated in Tijuana and ended just before an Otay Mesa warehouse that Reynoso and his two brothers had bought.

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