Mexican national sentenced to 108 months in prison following record seizure of fentanyl and methamphetamine | USAO-SDCA

SAN DIEGO – Carlos Martin Quintana-Arias of Mexico was sentenced today in federal court to 108 months in prison for the record seizure of 17,584 pounds of methamphetamine and 388.93 pounds of fentanyl from a commercial trailer attempting to enter the United States at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.

The seizure, on Nov. 18, 2021, was the nation’s largest so far in each drug category for calendar years 2021 and 2022, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

According to his plea agreement, Quintana-Arias admitted to driving the drug-laden tractor-trailer into the United States through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. He acknowledged that he knew the tractor-trailer contained methamphetamine, fentanyl or another federally controlled substance.

“This massive seizure prevented an enormous amount of deadly drugs from saturating our community,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “Because of the vigilance of the border agents, this fentanyl did not kill anyone, and this methamphetamine did not destroy a single life. We will continue to work with dedication and passion to intercept these drugs and prosecute the traffickers, because drug seizures mean lives are saved. Grossman thanked the prosecution team and investigative agencies for their excellent work on this case.

“This was a brazen attempt to smuggle a record amount of deadly narcotics into our country, and as this conviction reflects, those seeking to make a quick profit from smuggling narcotics will be subject to ‘vigorous investigations and prosecutions,’ said Chad Plantz, special agent in charge, HSI San Diego. “HSI, along with our federal and local partners, is firmly committed to dismantling criminal organizations that blatantly ignore the laws of this nation.”

“The San Diego and Imperial Valley ports of entry account for approximately 61% of all CBP fentanyl seizures nationwide,” said Anne Maricich, acting director of field operations for the bureau. of land in San Diego. “This significant seizure illustrates the hard work and dedication of our officers to the mission. It’s our unwavering commitment to keep dangerous narcotics like fentanyl and methamphetamine off the streets and out of our communities. The sentencing announced today by Judge Janis L. Sammartino is the result of strong multi-agency cooperation and local departments working toward a common goal.

Carlos Martin Quintana-Arias Residence: Mexico

Title 21, USC, Sections 952 and 960 Importing a Controlled Substance

Maximum penalty: forty years in prison and a mandatory minimum of five years; and a $5 million fine

Homeland Security Investigations

United States Customs and Border Protection

* The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are only charges, and the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty.

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