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MIAMI (AP) _ A reputed cocaine kingpin's brother-in-law was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for arranging hits on three witnesses against a multibillion-dollar drug ring.

Eduardo Lezcano offered no comment before U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard imposed the maximum sentence. His attorneys said they will appeal.

Two others who helped the Colombian hit men but did not actually commit the murders were sentenced earlier to life terms for their part in the $2 billion cocaine distribution empire run by Willie Falcon and Sal Magluta.

Lezcano, Magluta's brother-in-law, was charged in the longest-running criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in Miami, dating to 1987.

Falcon and Magluta were acquitted of drug charges in 1996, but their jury's foreman was later convicted of accepting a bribe from them. They face trial this year for the hits, obstruction of justice and money laundering.

Targets of the hits were witnesses Juan Acosta, an attorney, and drug dealers Luis Escobedo and Bernardo Gonzalez, whose brother also was killed because he came home before the intended victim.

Lezcano was convicted of recruiting, paying and supplying guns to the Colombian hit teams.