- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) - A recruiter for a South Texas drug-smuggling ring has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after methamphetamine was found hidden in his car.

A federal judge in Brownsville on Monday sentenced 24-year-old Alexander Ortega of Houston. Ortega in February was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and conspiring to import more than 10 pounds of methamphetamine.

Ortega was sentenced to 30 years behind bars for each of the four counts, to be served concurrently.

Investigators say Ortega in March 2011 was caught at a Brownsville border crossing with methamphetamine hidden under the rear seat of his car. That arrest led to three other suspects recruited by Ortega being captured and convicted for their roles in the meth-smuggling operation.

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