A Mexican federal tribunal has slashed the sentences of two brothers after they appealed their 2004 conviction for heading a drug cartel that smuggled tons of methamphetamines into the United States, the Federal Attorney General's Office said Thursday. Jose de Jesus Amezcua, dubbed "the amphetamine king," had his sentence reduced to 28 years from 53 years nine months, the office said in a news release. His brother Adan Amezcua had his sentence reduced to nine years and six months from 22 years, it said.
The original sentences handed down by a judge in the western Mexican state of Jalisco in September 2004. The brothers appealed the sentences before a federal tribunal.
The attorney general's office did not explain why the sentences were reduced. The tribunal could not be immediately reached for comment. Mexican courts often change criminal sentences on appeal.
Investigators say the Amezcua gang illegally imported ephedrine from Europe, India and Pakistan through ports on Mexico's Pacific and Gulf coasts and used it to manufacture the stimulant methamphetamine in western Mexico.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said the brothers' Guadalajara-based organization also supplied methamphetamine labs in the United States. A third Amezcua brother, Luis Ignacio was sentenced to 49 years in prison in September.
In June, a California federal grand jury indicted Jose de Jesus and Luis Ignacio Amezcua on charges of manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine, conspiracy to possess ephedrine, a component of "meth" or "speed," and continuing a criminal enterprise, reports the AP. I.L.