CHICAGO (AP) - A federal judge has sentenced a longtime fugitive to nine years in prison for leading what was one of the world's largest heroin networks, extending from Thailand to Chicago.
In imposing a sentence on Musiliu Balogun Thursday, Judge James Holderman said the harm caused by trafficking "has been momentous."
Moments earlier, the 53-year-old from Ogun, Nigeria, bowed to the judge and said in a brief statement, "I sincerely apologize for all the pain I have caused."
Balogun had faced life sentence, but a plea deal following his extradition from Holland this year meant the maximum term was nine years.
Balogun's sentencing highlights a seismic shift in how heroin gets to the U.S. When Balogun trafficked heroin in the `90s, most came from Asia. Now, most comes through Mexico.