A former director of Guatemala's PNC national police force was sentenced to 16 years behind bars after being found guilty of stealing at least 350 kilos of cocaine, the judiciary said Tuesday.

Baltazar Gomez was convicted of stealing the drug last April 24, 2009, from a private warehouse complex in the southern municipality of Amatitlan, an encounter in which five antidrug agents were killed.

Investigations into the multiple murders indicate that members of the Mexico-based Los Zetas cartel were behind the deaths of the five cops.

Also sentenced to 16 years in jail were Nelly Bonilla and Fernando Carillo, formerly high officials of the PNC's antidrug department.

Thirteen civilians who took part in the clash were given sentences ranging from three to 61 years in prison.

The drug belonged to Los Zetas, and the five agents had come to confiscate it when they were attacked and killed by gang members in two SUVs.

"This was a drug robbery planned and directed by authorities of the PNC," the verdict said. EFE