Guatemalan drug lord sentenced in secret in US court

Undated booking photo courtesy of the US Treasury Department shows Marllory Chacon Rossell (AFP Photo/)

Miami (AFP) - A Guatemalan drug trafficker known as "the Queen of the South" was sentenced in a US federal court on Tuesday but the judge put her case and its outcome under seal for five years, her lawyer said.

Marllory Chacon Rossell, 42, entered the court smiling, her hands cuffed and wearing a beige prison jumpsuit, before US District Judge Jose Martinez closed the sentencing hearing to the public.

Prosecutors had agreed in December to recommend that Chacon serve in the low range of a 10 years-to-life prison sentence in return for her plea of guilty to conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the United States.

Chacon's lawyer, Bonnie Klapper, told reporters that the judge had agreed to keep the case under seal for a five year period, because of its sensitivity.

The office of the US attorney for southern Florida declined to comment.

US authorities have accused Chacon of being one of the most active drug traffickers in Central America, with a network that extended from Guatemala to Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Honduras and Mexico.

The US Treasury Department placed her -- along with her husband and associates -- on its blacklist of drug kingpins in 2012.

She surrendered to US authorities in mid 2014.