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.

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.

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

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