Ex-Medellin cartel boss Fabio Ochoa gets another appeal

Appeals court says drug lord deserves new hearing on whether lawyer had improper conflict of interest

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MIAMI - One of South Florida's most notorious drug lords is getting another chance to appeal his 2003 conviction on cocaine trafficking and other charges.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently agreed that former Medellin cartel boss Fabio Ochoa deserves a new hearing on whether his lawyer had an improper conflict of interest.

Once one of the Colombian cartel's senior leaders, Ochoa is now serving a 30-year prison sentence.

The appeals court took no position on Ochoa's latest claim but ordered a new review by a Miami federal judge.

Prosecutors say Ochoa was involved in cocaine shipments to the U.S. that reached some 30 tons per year.

The Medellin cartel, once the world's biggest cocaine trafficker, went into decline after the 1993 killing of former kingpin Pablo Escobar.

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