Federal agents arrest 3 men, seize about 430,000 fentanyl pills in Avondale

Oct 11, 2022, 2:00 PM
Fentanyl pills (Drug Enforcement Agency File Photo)...
Fentanyl pills (Drug Enforcement Agency File Photo)
(Drug Enforcement Agency File Photo)

PHOENIX – Three men, including two from the Valley, face the possibility of life in prison for their alleged roles in a fentanyl trafficking ring, federal authorities said Tuesday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said Avondale’s Carlos Alberto Castro-Ruiz, 27, Phoenix’s Alexander Ortega-Islas, 22, and Mexico’s Keivin Crosswell-Cervantes, 28, were each indicted last week on two charges: conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine, and use or possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense.

A conviction on the conspiracy charge would result in a sentence of 10 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000,000. The firearms charge carries a penalty of 5-20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

U.S. Homeland Security Investigations agents arrested the suspects and seized large quantities of illegal drugs in Avondale on Sept. 21, according to a press release.

The seizure included about 430,000 fentanyl pills and 25 pounds of methamphetamine along with three pistols.

Crosswell-Cervantes, Castro-Ruiz, and Ortega-Islas had their initial court appearances on Sept. 23.

The federal seizure and arrests happened the same week the Phoenix Police Department made its largest fentanyl bust ever. Officers seized about 1 million pills containing the powerful synthetic opioid from an Avondale residence and arrested two men in that case.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Kevin Stone

Real estate firm JLL completes move into Phoenix’s The Grove development

Global real estate services firm JLL announced that it has finished moving its Arizona operations into Phoenix's The Grove development.
10 hours ago
A fisherman throws a cast net along shore of Lake Mead at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, F...

California holds out as Arizona, other states submit Colorado River water plan

Six Western states that rely on water from the Colorado River, including Arizona, have agreed on a model to cut water use in the basin.
10 hours ago
(Unsplash Photo)...

Apache Junction toddler dies of overdose after swallowing fentanyl pill

Police in Apache Junction are investigating the death of a toddler boy they said ingested fentanyl.
10 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/ASU Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation)...

ASU receives $5.5M in funding to help fill nursing needs

Arizona State University was awarded over $5 million to pay tuition and fees for 104 students, the school announced. 
10 hours ago
(El Mirage Police Department Photos)...

3 arrested after house tied to human smuggling in El Mirage was targeted

Three people were arrested and a man is dead after a home tied to a human smuggling operation in El Mirage was targeted on Saturday.
10 hours ago
Follow @KTAR923...

Glendale firefighter honored for life-saving effort by city of Surprise

A Glendale firefighter was honored Monday for life-saving actions he made last August, the city of Surprise announced.
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Federal agents arrest 3 men, seize about 430,000 fentanyl pills in Avondale