Meth kingpin gets record 30-year sentence

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A Hennepin County District Court judge sentenced a man accused of running a wide methamphetamine operation in the Twin Cities to 30 years in prison, a record for such a crime, WCCO reported.

Pedro Ayala-Leyva was the last of 11 defendants in the case to be found guilty after an eight-month probe of the drug ring by St. Paul and Minneapolis police departments, as well as other agencies, the Star Tribune reported.

Sentencing guidelines suggest a seven-year sentence, but Judge Regina Chu went with a much stiffer penalty recommended by Hennepin County attorneys, the newspaper said. She cited the large size of the operation, and she noted it put people at risk and involved cross-country smuggling.

Officials broke up the ring last winter, and 20 suspects in all were charged earlier this year.

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