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20-year sentence for drug lord in butt-smuggling

20-year sentence for drug lord Higinio Castillo in butt-smuggling.

A Philadelphia man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison yesterday for his role as leader of a drug-smuggling operation that brought about 8 kilograms of heroin and a kilogram of cocaine into the United States between 2010 and 2012.

Higinio Castillo, 25, pleaded guilty in April to leading an operation that had drug mules enter the country after swallowing packets of heroin. Before they made it to the street for sale, the smugglers would "pass" the drugs in an apartment the operation owned, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Federal prosecutors say Castillo and others kidnapped a drug mule they accused of not returning about a pound of heroin. He also attempted to kidnap the children of another drug-runner.

The drugs came from Castillo's relative in the Dominican Republic. He also faces 10 years of supervised release, a $5,000 fine and a $1,300 special assessment. Ten other co-conspirators who pleaded guilty await sentencing.