Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The leader of a Rochester-based drug trafficking ring has been sentenced to 26-years in federal prison. 30-year-old Marco Avila earlier pleaded guilty to federal charges that carried a maximum sentence of life in prison.

According to the Minnesota U.S. Attorneys Office, Avila led and facilitated an extensive methamphetamine and cocaine distribution organization that utilized his connections in Mexico and elsewhere to bring the drugs to southern Minnesota while he also managed the distribution and the profits from the criminal enterprise. Federal prosecutors say Avila was also involved in an ongoing and violent shooting war with a rival drug trafficking ring in the Rochester area.

Court documents indicate Avila pleaded guilty to a drug trafficking indictment a year ago, and while he was awaiting sentencing in the Anoka County jail, Avila continued to direct drug shipments and sales in the Rochester area. That led to another federal indictment and another guilty plea in January and his sentencing this week at the federal courthouse in Minneapolis.