McALLEN, Texas (AP) — A Mexican citizen has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison for helping lead a South Texas drug ring.

Francisco Gonzalez-Contreras was sentenced Monday during a federal court hearing in McAllen.

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Federal prosecutors say the 37-year-old Gonzalez-Contreras rented locations where cocaine, heroin as well as cash from the sale of drugs were hidden.

Gonzalez-Contreras had pleaded guilty in May to one count of selling, distributing or dispensing a controlled substance.

The investigation began after Drug Enforcement Administration agents along with the McAllen Police Department discovered a large stash of narcotics and money after conducting surveillance on alleged stash houses and several vehicles.

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Three others have previously pleaded guilty to drug charges and received prison terms ranging from 42 months to 57 months.

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