A judge in Miami imposed the relatively lenient sentence Tuesday on 47-year-old Jaime Alberto Marin-Zamora, a former leader of Colombia’s North Valley cartel. He had faced up to 24 years, but prosecutors recommended less because of his assistance in other cases.
Marin-Zamora pleaded guilty in October to charges that he and others smuggled some 30 tons of cocaine into the U.S. from 1999 to 2004.
Marin-Zamora initially backed out of a plea deal because a life sentence was still possible.
He was captured on an island off Venezuela in September 2010. The U.S. has arrested and convicted several top leaders of the North Valley cartel.