- Associated Press - Thursday, July 27, 2017

LAREDO, Texas (AP) - Federal prosecutors say three brothers of a man who led a lucrative drug-trafficking network along the border with Mexico have been sentenced for their roles in the drug ring.

The longest sentence, more than 16 years, was given to 45-year-old Rafael Melendez. Melendez, his brothers and a nephew were sentenced Wednesday in Laredo.

Authorities say the family operated a longstanding drug network that dealt in crack cocaine, cocaine and marijuana.

The man authorities say led the operation, 41-year-old Adan Melendez, was sentenced in April to a life term.

Authorities say Adan Melendez at one point profited about $1,200 a day from the operation.

His two sons also were sentenced at the time for their roles in the drug ring.

Authorities say about 30 people have been implicated in the ring.


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