Guilty plea in Fla. for Colombian drug lord

October 6, 2011 - 10:45 AM

MIAMI (AP) — A Colombian cocaine kingpin has pleaded guilty in Miami to U.S. trafficking charges months after rejecting the government's first proposed plea deal.

Jaime Alberto Marin-Zamora pleaded guilty Thursday to a single cocaine trafficking conspiracy charge. The 47-year-old best known as "Beto" Marin faces a required minimum 10-year sentence and could get more. Prosecutors say if Marin-Zamora continues to cooperate they will seek a more lenient sentence.

Marin-Zamora rejected the earlier plea deal because he could have gotten life behind bars.

Marin-Zamora admitted being a kingpin in Colombia's North Valley Cartel. He was arrested by Venezuelan authorities in September 2010 at a resort off the Venezuelan coast and brought to the U.S. soon after.

U.S. authorities had offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.