The alleged kingpin of a drug ring that the Chester County District Attorney's Office said moved at least $60 million of cocaine through the region over two decades has pleaded guilty to drug charges.
Salvador Lemus, 67, of East Marlborough Township, on Monday pleaded guilty to 25 counts of possession with intent to deliver, one count of conspiracy, and one count of corrupt organizations. The charges could carry a sentence of decades in prison, said Kevin Pierce, an assistant district attorney in the county's drug unit.
Lemus' lawyer, John Pavloff, said he was pleased with the agreement. At trial, Lemus would have faced about 160 counts of drug-delivery charges and several hundred related charges.
"The judge assured him the sentence he would impose would give him 'light at the end of the tunnel,' " Pavloff said Tuesday.
Chester County Court Judge James P. MacElree has not set a sentencing date.
In May 2014, Chester County authorities arrested Lemus, his wife, his son, and more than 40 others who officials said were part of a drug ring operating in southern Chester County that had ties to a Mexican cartel.
The county's yearlong investigation was called Operation Telaraña, Spanish for "spiderweb."
Lemus' wife, Jovita, 54, pleaded guilty in August to possession with intent to deliver and conspiracy. She served time in the Chester County Prison.
There are about four outstanding cases related to the drug ring, Pierce said.