Multi-Agency Investigation Results in Indictment and Arrest of “Drug Kingpin” Associated with the Sinaloa Cartel Operating in Sonora, Mexico | USAO-AK

Sadye Matula

ANCHORAGE – Miguel Baez Guevara, 38, a United States citizen dwelling in Mexico, was indicted by a federal grand jury on 17 counts connected to his leadership job in trafficking narcotics straight from Mexico to Alaska. Guevara was arrested by Mexican immigration authorities from the Instituto Nacional de Migración in […]

ANCHORAGE – Miguel Baez Guevara, 38, a United States citizen dwelling in Mexico, was indicted by a federal grand jury on 17 counts connected to his leadership job in trafficking narcotics straight from Mexico to Alaska. Guevara was arrested by Mexican immigration authorities from the Instituto Nacional de Migración in Sonora, Mexico, on Friday, September 10, and deported to the United States. U.S. Legislation Enforcement arrested Guevara upon his arrival in Arizona.  He pleaded not responsible Tuesday in federal court in Phoenix, Arizona. He will stay detained pending his transfer to Alaska.

In accordance to the just lately unsealed indictment, beginning in 2016 Guevara’s corporation operated to import heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine straight from Mexico to Alaska. Guevara claimed membership in, and affiliation with, the Sinaloa Cartel. Guevara’s network specifically focused Alaska because they obtained greater gains for the unlawful medicine thanks to Alaska’s substantial length from the Mexican resources of offer.

Making use of social media and encrypted messaging apps, Guevara’s community recruited drug couriers who lived in Alaska. The couriers were promised money or medications in trade for touring to Mexico to acquire the narcotics for transport again to Alaska. Couriers were needed to submit pics of their driver’s license and other private info. Guevara produced it recognized he was linked with the Sinaloa Cartel and there have been critical and violent repercussions for couriers who stole narcotics or supplied information to legislation enforcement. The couriers generally traveled in modest groups with an assigned workforce leader. Couriers commonly carried about 250 grams of narcotics on every trip. When the couriers arrived in Alaska a member of Guevara’s network, who was stationed in Alaska, compensated them and gathered the narcotics. Avenue degree dealers in Alaska contacted Guevara who coordinated the sale involving his Alaska personnel and the community supplier. Guevara did not cross into the United States due to superb federal and state arrest warrants but executed all functions from Mexico.

The Continuing Legal Business statute 21 U.S.C. § 848 is usually referred to as the “Kingpin Statute.” The statute is built to access the best brass in drug trafficking organizations, and not the lieutenants and foot troopers. The statute was enacted to concentrate on huge-scale profit-making enterprises engaged in the illegal importation, manufacture and distribution of controlled substances. A conviction carries a mandatory existence sentence.

The indictment and arrest are portion of an ongoing, big scale drug trafficking investigation dubbed “Operation Albondiga” which has resulted in the arrest and legal prices of 23 folks considering that 2016.

The defendants (in alphabetical purchase) are as follows:

  1. Jason Alto, 25, pleaded guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, sentenced January 18, 2017 to 20 months imprisonment.
  2. Chinaya Begay, 26, pleaded responsible to Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Material, sentenced August 12, 2021 to time served (13 months).
  3. Mario Burgueno, 36, pleaded responsible in the District of Arizona to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, sentenced June 12, 2019 to 120 months imprisonment. 
  4. Dana Dwyer, 45, pleaded responsible to Felon in Possession of Firearms, sentencing scheduled for January 10, 2022.
  5. Travon Grays, 28, pleaded responsible to Conspiracy to Distribute Managed Substances, sentenced March 2, 2021 to 37 months imprisonment.
  6. Jessica Hannah, 26, pleaded guilty to Tried Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances, sentenced June 7, 2021 to time served (7 months). 
  7. Zanders Herndon, 39, pleaded responsible to Felon in Possession of Firearm and Ammunition, sentenced August 6, 2018 to 54 months imprisonment. 
  8. Eva Houser, 38, pleaded responsible to Conspiracy to Distribute and Have with Intent to Distribute Managed Substances, sentenced January 3, 2019 to 36 months imprisonment.
  9. David Garcia Johnson, 29, pleaded responsible to Distribution of a Controlled Substance, sentenced January 11, 2021 to 46 months imprisonment. 
  10. April Krause, 36, pleaded guilty in the District of Arizona to Conspiracy to Have Counterfeit Obligations and Sureties of the United States and Bringing in Counterfeit Obligations, sentenced Oct 18, 2018 to 13 months imprisonment. 
  11. Katrina Lundy, 41, pleaded guilty to Tried Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances, sentenced March 6, 2019 to 21 months imprisonment.
  12. Jarese Martinez, 28, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Have with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances, sentenced November 2, 2018 to 120 months imprisonment.
  13. Victor Mizugay-Gallego, 24, pleaded guilty to Attempted Possession of a Managed Material with Intent to Distribute, sentencing scheduled for Oct 6, 2021.
  14. Alicia Norvell, 33, pleaded responsible to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Managed Substances, sentenced September 12, 2018 to time served (10 months).
  15. Mykki Orth, 55, pleaded responsible to Distribution of Controlled Substances, sentenced Oct 23, 2018 to 15 months imprisonment.
  16. Frances Pelch, 66, pleaded guilty to Tried Possession with Intent to Distribute Managed Substances, sentenced January 15, 2021 to 36 months imprisonment.
  17. Alicia Pierce, 27, pleaded responsible in the District of Arizona to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, sentenced May 23, 2019 to time served (10 months).
  18. Jackie Polzel, 34, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Have with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances, sentenced September 12, 2018 to 36 months imprisonment.
  19. Kelly Very, 35, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Managed Substances, sentenced May perhaps 2, 2018 to 16 months imprisonment. 
  20. Jody Schuyler, 55, pleaded guilty in the District of Arizona to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, sentenced May perhaps 21, 2019 to 12 months imprisonment.
  21. Audriel Soto, 25, pleaded guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Compound, sentenced February 17, 2021 to 36 months imprisonment.
  22. Nicole Villa, 33, pleaded guilty in the District of Arizona to Conspiracy to Have with Intent to Distribute Heroin, sentenced April 3, 2019 to time served (10 months). 
  23. Casey Wells, 39, pleaded guilty in the District of Arizona to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, sentenced April 2, 2019 to time served (10 months).

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Coastline Guard Investigative Company (CGIS) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are foremost the investigation with investigative aid delivered by Anchorage Law enforcement Office (APD), Homeland Security Investigations Sells, Arizona,  Office (HSI), U.S. Customs & Border Patrol, the Alaska Point out Troopers (AST), Ted Stevens Worldwide Airport Law enforcement and the Alaska Countrywide Guard. We also want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Place of work, District of Arizona and regulation enforcement agencies in the Point out of Arizona for their a must have aid with this scenario and “Operation Albondiga.”

Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Taylor, Allison O’Leary, and Chris Schroeder are prosecuting the scenario.

Operation Albondiga is element of an Structured Crime Drug Enforcement Process Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the maximum-level drug traffickers, revenue launderers, gangs, and transnational prison companies that threaten the United States by making use of a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency strategy that leverages the strengths of federal, point out, and community regulation enforcement companies versus criminal networks.

An indictment is simply an allegation and all defendants are presumed harmless till proven responsible further than a affordable question in a court of law.

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