The story reads like something straight out of a Law & Order episode. A major meth smuggling ring is busted and the kingpin is arrested and sent to trial. It seems like the evil-doer will get away with a slap on the wrist at sentencing, but then in a surprising twist the judge hands down a jaw-droppingly long sentence and justice ultimately prevails.
Take out Sam Waterson and a few cliche lines and you get the real story on the sentencing of meth-ring leader, Pedro 'Peli' Ayala-Leyva.
On Tuesday, a Hennepin county court judge sentenced Ayala-Leyva to 30 years in prison, a state record for drug crime in Minnesota.
"It's good to give the ringleaders and kingpins the significant prison time they deserve," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement to the Star Tribune.
In October Ayala-Leyva was found guilty of first-degree drug trafficking conspiracy that came out of his leadership of a drug smuggling ring that brought methamphetamine from California to the Twin Cities.
According to CBS Minnesota, "Roughly seven years was recommended by the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines but Hennepin County attorneys argued for a much-steeper punishment."
The success of the sentencing is a major step towards curbing drug trafficking in Minnesota with harsher sentences now a possibility for many offenders.