Arizona man sentenced to more than 6 years in prison for smuggling fentanyl

Mar 15, 2023, 1:03 PM | Updated: 1:05 pm

(AP File Photo)...

(AP File Photo)

(AP File Photo)

PHOENIX — A Tucson man was sentenced to more than six years in prison on Tuesday for his involvement in smuggling fentanyl near the border, authorities said.

A federal judge sentenced Jose Antonio Cota, 33, to 78 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said in a press release.

The sentencing comes almost a year after he pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl in April 2022.

Prosecutors said Cota was caught with fentanyl pills taped to his body in bundles during a routine immigration inspection at a border checkpoint near the town of Amado, about 30 miles north of Nogales in August 2020.

Border Patrol agents were searching a commercial shuttle van and its passengers, including Cota, when they found the drugs.

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Arizona man sentenced to more than 6 years in prison for smuggling fentanyl