By Associated Press - Monday, April 25, 2016

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - A Grand Forks man accused of leading a large drug trafficking operation has been sentenced to life in prison.

A federal jury in May found 38-year-old Jose Delacruz guilty on two counts, including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Authorities say Delacruz distributed large amounts of meth in the Grand Forks area. The charge carried a mandatory life sentence because Delacruz had two prior drug convictions.

Four other defendants accused in the case have received prison sentences ranging between 2½ and 10 years.

Delacruz also was convicted for pistol-whipping a fellow drug dealer in Grand Forks whom Delacruz accused of cooperating with law enforcement.

U.S. Attorney Chris Myers says local and federal authorities worked together to dismantle the drug ring and “stop the violent conduct” by Delacruz.

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