Lottery winner uses fortune to fund drugs ring

A Mexican millionaire who struck it rich in the lottery was sentenced to life in prison for funnelling his winnings into a drugs operation that spanned nine counties.

A Mexican millionaire who struck it rich in the lottery was sentenced to life in prison for funnelling his winnings into a drugs operation that spanned nine counties.

Rafael Quiroz, 37, was convicted last year of violating a federal statute by running a criminal enterprise from 1992 to 1998 making drugs sold throughout the nation.

Quiroz, of Colima, Mexico, was 25 when he won one million dollars (£710,000) in the California lottery’s Big-Spin game in 1989.

It helped finance a drug empire that cooked more than 2,300 pounds (1,035 kilograms) of methamphetamine at labs throughout the state, prosecutors said in Fresno, California.

Quiroz, sentenced on Monday, was ordered to forfeit 4.3 million dollars (£3m) in proceeds from the operation, including any lottery winnings.

Five other men were convicted in the case and are serving from two to 30 years in federal prison.

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