Sandra Avila Beltrán, also known as the "Queen of the Pacific," will be sent home to Mexico after serving 70 months in prison. Her sentence was changed after she admitted to helping her ex-boyfriend, druglord Juan Diego Espinosa.
Beltrán was arrested in Mexico City in 2007, and was extradited to the U.S. to face cocaine smuggling charges. Those charges were dropped, but she was convicted of obstruction to justice in connection with the arrest of her boyfriend. In April of this year, she pleaded guilty. Judge Michael Moore of Miami decided on Wednesday to sentence her to 70 months in prison (she has already served 68 months and 28 days since her arrest).
“The sentence is already over. Now she will go to immigration and deported to Mexico,” explained her lawyer Steven Ralls to Spanish newspaper El Pais. Ralls expects her to reach Mexico in “no longer than a month.”
Mexican authorities have said that they will not prosecute Beltrán, since there are no outstanding charges of warrants against her.
Beltrán arrived in court smiling. Her lawyer said she was pleased with the sentence, but she regretted “wasting six years trying to prove her innocence.” Beltrán belongs to a family of drug smugglers -- her uncle, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, founded the Guadalajara cartel, one of Mexico’s biggest organized crime groups. She started dating Espinosa in 2001, and was an active collaborator in his businesses, that linked Colombia’s drugs cartels with Mexico’s drug lords.
Patricia covers Latin America for the International Business Times.
Before joining IBT in March 2013, she worked at BBC America in New York, La República in Lima...