MIAMI -- A judge has imposed a prison sentence of more than 14 years on the convicted ringleader of a smuggling organization that brought more than 1,000 Cubans into the U.S., including several baseball players.
U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard on Monday rejected Lazo's request for a lighter sentence.
The organization brought Cubans by boat to Mexico. They then crossed the U.S. border in Texas for $10,000 per person, more for ballplayers. Court documents show the smugglers paid fees to the Zetas drug cartel to operate in their territory in Mexico.
Lazo is already serving a five-year sentence for money laundering in an unrelated Medicare fraud case.