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Narcotics
04/13/2012

Yuma drug courier sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for meth smuggling

PHOENIX — A Yuma man was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) that revealed he attempted to smuggle almost nine kilograms of methamphetamine into the United States and distribute it.

Amado Cabrera Jr., 30, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Justin L. Quackenbush to 120 months of imprisonment. Cabrera pleaded guilty Jan. 17 to possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

"This substantial sentence for a drug courier should deter those who consider engaging in this type of criminal conduct," said Ann Birmingham Scheel, acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. "Those approached by drug trafficking organizations to smuggle drugs into the United States will have to weigh the small monetary reward against the huge risk to their personal liberty."

"Methamphetamine is a vile drug that destroys lives and devastates communities," said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of HSI Arizona. "HSI special agents continue to work vigilantly with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle those drug trafficking groups who attempt to bring this poison across our border and into our neighborhoods."

Cabrera, a U.S. citizen, was stopped May 27, 2011, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the San Luis port of entry, when a canine alerted officers to the cargo compartment of his 2004 Chevy Avalanche truck. A search of the truck revealed 20 packages hidden in a non-factory compartment. A subsequent laboratory analysis found that the packages contained a mixture of 99.9 percent pure methamphetamine, with a net weight of 8.867 kilograms.

HSI received substantial assistance with the investigation from CBP. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Howard D. Sukenic and Kiyoko Patterson of the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona.