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El Chapo associate Franco Lombardi known as the ‘The Wizard’ gets 14 years in federal pen for heroin and cocaine conspiracy

March 20, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
El Chapo associate Franco Lombardi known as the ‘The Wizard’ gets 14 years in federal pen for heroin and cocaine conspiracy

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Italian-Argentine drug-trafficker Franco Lombardi, who also goes by the nickname ‘The Wizard’ has been sentenced to 14 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to charges stemming from cocaine and heroin cases in New Jersey and Florida.

Lombardi’s sentencing concluded a case that drew international attention when he was first arrested in Honduras and was extradited to Miami.

The 46-year-old suspected trafficker is a financial collaborator of Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, the recently extradited leader of the Sinaloa Cartel who is currently awaiting trial in New York on a 17-count drug trafficking incitement.

Lombardi pleaded guilty on January 20th to charges of conspiracy in the heroin case, which includes money laundering involving at least $20 million, The Miami Herald reported.

Honduran Police and DEA agents arrested Lombardi back in April 2016

A statement from the prosecutor indicated that the cash was sent to bank accounts in Mexico, Colombia, and other Central American countries.

Last year, Lombardi had pleaded guilty in another case related to cocaine trafficking charges.

Lombardi’s federal sentencing reportedly covers both cases.

The judge informed Lombardi that he would likely be put in deportation proceedings when he is finished with his prison term because he is not a U.S. citizen.

The formal judgment indicates that Lombardi must be handed over to immigration officials after his sentence.

The indictment to which Franco Lombardi pleaded guilty this year had been issued by a New Jersey grand jury in 2015. Lombardi pleaded guilty in the Miami indictment back in November.

When Lombardi was extradited to Miami from Honduras, officials there identified him as an associate of the Sinaloa drug cartel.

After U.S. authorities had launched an investigation, they requested Interpol to track him down.

He was eventually found in Honduras and in April last year Honduran police, acting with the help of American agents, apprehended Lombardi in the tourist resort of Roatán.

News reports after his arrest said Lombardi owned a luxury restaurant in Roatán.

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