Drug ring investigation nets more pleas, sentencings

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Federal authorities say the mastermind behind a large drug-trafficking ring operating in Virginia, North Carolina, Texas and California has entered a guilty plea.

Virginia prosecutors also say four other defendants in the case pleaded guilty or were sentenced in the past week.

Forty-four-year-old Ramiro Ramirez-Barreto faces at least 20 years in prison after pleading guilty on Monday to engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise.

Authorities described Ramirez-Barreto as a Mexican national linked to the Sinaloa cartel who supplied drug rings in Newport News, Virginia and in Henderson and Greensboro, North Carolina.

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