Zhang Yong Hui, 35, brought at least 20 illegal immigrants a month into the country, charging 15,000 pounds ($25,370) a head.
Police in London said that during the three years he had been in Britain he had made up 11 million pounds for his gang of "snakeheads", as people smugglers are known in China.
The notorious gangster, known in the Chinese community as the "Fierce Young Brother", was caught after one of the immigrants he brought into Britain went to police.
"I have to take into account the prevalence and concern the public have about these matters and the need for there to be an element of deterrent so far as those are concerned in these organisations," Judge Alan Hitching said as he passed sentence on Thursday.
Police intelligence showed Zhang was responsible for smuggling people via Gatwick, Dover, Portsmouth, and Poole in Dorset.