A Miami federal judge Wednesday also ordered 48-year-old Diego Montoya Sanchez to pay $500,000 in restitution. In August, "Don Diego" pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import cocaine, racketeering conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
Montoya headed a faction of the North Valley cocaine cartel. Colombian officials say he sent tons of cocaine worth billions of dollars to the United States and was responsible for at least 1,500 killings in a two-decade career.
Montoya said Wednesday he started down the wrong path after his family abandoned him at age 14. He apologized and said he now hopes to live "a life of peace and purpose."