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Prosecutors want 35 years in prison for ‘El Chapo’ lieutenant

Jesus Raul Beltran Leon pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge in April. He faces up to life in prison.

Jesus Raul Beltran Leon was a top lieutenant to now-imprisoned Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera (above).
Jesus Raul Beltran Leon was a top lieutenant to now-imprisoned Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera (above).
AP

Federal prosecutors want a top lieutenant of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera sentenced to at least 35 years in prison.

Jesus Raul Beltran Leon “operated at the highest levels of the narcotics trafficking world, moving thousands of kilograms of drugs into, and millions of dollars of drug proceeds out of, the United States for years,” prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum filed Thursday.

Beltran Leon pleaded guilty in April to drug conspiracy. He is scheduled to be sentenced Monday. In July, Beltran Leon asked for the minimum sentence of 10 years.

Beltran Leon also faces a new allegation that he offered to pay $25,000 to have a witness beaten, a charge he denied in his sentencing memo.

At Beltran Leon’s sentencing hearing, prosecutors say, a witness will likely testify they had conversations with Beltran Leon regarding his “solicitation of a hit” on the other witness.

Prosecutors say Beltran Leon once worked with Guzman’s sons Alfredo Guzman and Ivan Guzman to smuggle massive shipments of drugs into the United States. He is related to El Chapo by marriage and, authorities say, once bragged he was “one of the first people” to see Guzman after the druglord escaped a Mexican prison in 2001.

Contributing: Jon Seidel