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Three major Mexican drug gangsters sentenced in San Diego

April 6, 2010 |  7:18 am

Three major figures in the Arellano-Felix narcotics cartel that used violence and bribery in its cocaine and marijuana empire have been given lengthy prison sentences in San Diego federal court, officials said.

On Monday, Jesus Labra-Aviles was sentenced to 40 years and Armando Martinez-Duarte to 18 years and four months. Last week, Jorge Aureliano Felix was sentenced to 30 years in prison. All had pleaded guilty to a variety of conspiracy and drug charges.

A fourth defendant in the case is set to be sentenced next month. The reputed gangsters were extradited to the U.S. in December 2008.

The cartel operates from the Tijuana-Mexicali region to smuggle drugs into the U.S., bribing Mexican officials and murdering rivals, according to court documents.

-- Tony Perry in Calexico, Calif.