NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Federal judge Lewis Kaplan in New York imposed a tough sentence on 51-year-old Vikram Datta, noting that he became the most successful perfume merchant in Laredo, Texas by laundering $25 million in drug money for a major Mexican drug cartel.

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The judge said his message is intended for businessmen along the Mexican border.

If they close their eyes to the source of cash flowing out of Mexico, it’s most likely they are taking very dirty drug money and supporting the operations of the brutal drug cartels.

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If they get caught, said the judge things will go badly for them.

In sentencing Datta to 19 years, 7 months in federal prison, the judge said Datta will come out at an advanced age to find his business gone, his life in ruins.

Datta was arrested and convicted last year.

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