Mexico City - The brother of notorious Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" (Shorty) Guzman has been sentenced to 13 years and three months in prison for depositing organized crime proceeds and illegal possession of military weapons, federal prosecutors said.
That same sentence had been handed down against Miguel Angel Guzman Loera, alias "El Mudo," in August of last year, but his defense team had appealed the decision.
The federal Attorney General's Office, or PGR, said in a statement that a judge in the central state of Mexico issued a final ruling on Thursday after considering evidence provided by its Siedo organized crime unit, which is spearheading the nation's battle against drug trafficking.
Guzman Loera, arrested on June 16, 2005, in Sinaloa state, home to the same-named cartel run by his notorious brother, used the financial system "to open different bank accounts, using false names such as Lucio Guadalupe Perez Cano, Gabriel Bernal Castro, Adalberto Garcia Vidana and Miguel Angel Sanchez Ruiz," the PGR said.
The convicted money launderer made "numerous deposits of proceeds from illegal activities carried out by his brother, Joaquin Guzman Loera, alias 'El Chapo Guzman,'" the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, the PGR said.
According to the investigation, he made deposits of as much as 17.2 million pesos ($1.35 million at the current exchange rate) in one of the accounts to conceal the illicit origin of the funds, which were found to be drug-trafficking proceeds.
At the time of his arrest, authorities also found in Guzman Loera's possession a firearm intended for the exclusive use of the Mexican army and air force.
"El Chapo" Guzman escaped from the Puente Grande maximum-security prison in the western state of Jalisco on Jan. 19, 2001, and is Mexico's most-wanted fugitive.
His Sinaloa cartel is considered responsible for much of the violence afflicting the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, the bloodiest battleground in a nationwide drug war that has claimed more than 16,000 lives over the past three years.