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updated: 9/5/2013 6:55 AM

Judge to sentence ex-leader in trafficking network

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Associated Press

A reputed former leader of a heroin-trafficking network that extended from Thailand to Nigeria and Mexico and into Chicago is set to be sentenced, two decades after being charged.

In a negotiated deal, Musiliu Balogun faces a maximum nine-year prison term when a federal judge in Chicago sentences him Thursday. He faced a life sentence.

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Court documents describe Balogun as one of the kingpins in the powerful trafficking ring. Many of its other leaders were arrested in 1996.

Balogun evaded capture until his arrest in Amsterdam in 2006 as he sought to fly to Ghana. Dutch authorities extradited him this year.

Balogun allegedly operated from Thailand and Cambodia. A vast courier network carried the heroin by plane from Southeast Asia, with the bulk of the drugs ending up in Chicago.

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