ARIZONA NEWS

Tucson woman sentenced for trafficking 453,000 fentanyl-laced pills

Jun 8, 2024, 6:30 AM

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A Tucson woman was sentenced on Tuesday to 60 months in prison for trafficking approximately 453,000 fentanyl-laced pills and one kilogram of fentanyl powder. (DPS Photo)

(DPS Photo)

PHOENIX — A Tucson woman was sentenced on Tuesday to 60 months in prison for trafficking approximately 453,000 fentanyl-laced pills and one kilogram of fentanyl powder.

Alegria Pompeya Mendoza-Castro, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl on Nov. 16, 2023.

How did the Tucson woman get caught with the fentanyl?

On April 20, 2023, Mendoza-Castro traveled from Mexico through the DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales, officials said. During an inspection of her vehicle, authorities found the fentanyl-laced pills and fentanyl powder in the spare tire.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force operation. The OCDETF Strike Force Initiative identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States, officials say. The OCDETF uses a “prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.”

The Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Arizona Department of Public Safety played a role in the investigation.

David Petermann, an assistant U.S. attorney from the District of Arizona, handled the prosecution.

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Tucson woman sentenced for trafficking 453,000 fentanyl-laced pills