Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Mexico-Based U.S. Citizen Admits Smuggling 450,000 Fentanyl Pills
A US citizen who resided in the Mexican border city of Tijuana admitted to smuggling more than 450,000 fentanyl pills from that country into the US. The drug smuggler made the confession during a guilty plea before a federal judge in a US District Court. The alleged criminal activity occurred during a 9-month conspiracy in 2018.
A US citizen identified as April Spring Kelly, 38, pled guilty to her role in a major drug conspiracy case before US District Judge Janis Sammartino according to a media release from the US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of California. During the guilty plea. Kelly admits she smuggled over 450,000 fentanyl pills from Mexico into the US during a nine-month conspiracy from February to October 2018. She continued, stating she smuggled the fentanyl pills through ports of entry into San Diego, California and Nogales, Arizona, for subsequent distribution to mid-level distributors in San Diego and Phoenix.
Kelly further admitted to attempting to smuggle 36.24 pounds of methamphetamine, 37.83 pounds of cocaine and nearly 12 pounds of powdered fentanyl on November 30, 2018, when US Customs and Border Protection officers arrested her in her vehicle at the San Ysidro Port of Entry the media release continued. Following Kelly’s guilty plea, she's scheduled to be sentenced on October 11, 2019, before Judge Sammartino.
"San Diego's the gateway for fentanyl to the rest of the country, and we are working aggressively to close that gate, one smuggler and one distributor at a time," US Attorney Robert Brewer said in the media release. "With so many lives at stake, we're pursuing more of these cases than ever." US Attorney Brewer, who prosecuted the case, praised federal agents from Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration and US Customs and Border Protection. He said they're on the front lines of this fentanyl surge.
"Kelly's only 38 years old and she'll pay for her actions of pure greed by spending a very long time – potentially life – in prison. This should serve as a warning to anyone who traffics drugs: DEA will investigate and arrest you and the US Attorney’s Office will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law" said DEA Special Agent in Charge Karen Flowers.
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