Four family members who ran one of the largest cartel smuggling operations in south Texas had their life in prison sentences commuted and will likely be returning to this border city from where they ran their criminal empire. One of the main destinations that the criminal organizations delivered drugs to was Chicago, Illinois.
On his last full day as president of the United States, Barack Obama on Thursday issued 330 sentence commutations for individuals convicted of drug offenses—the most issued on a single day in American history.
The move brings Obama’s total number of clemencies as president to 1,715—the most for any U.S. president.
Four of those convicted criminals who had been sentenced to life in prison will be released by May 17. They ran a criminal organization made up of close to 80 men and women who worked with Mexico’s Gulf Cartel to move between 100,000 to almost 750,000 pounds of marijuana into the U.S. during a 10-year period. The drugs were moved into Houston and then distributed to Atlanta, Chicago, and other major metropolitan areas.
Criminal justice reform has been a top priority of the Obama administration, but it was unable to achieve such reforms legislatively.
Earlier this week, Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former Army private who leaked classified documents to WikiLeaks. On Friday at noon, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the next president.