2 Tucson-based narcotics distributors sentenced to lengthy prison terms following HSI Nogales, multi-agency investigation
TUCSON, Ariz. – On June 22, the second defendant in a multiagency investigation to include Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) was sentenced to 72 months in prison, followed by 36 months of supervised release
Jamaar Charles Samuels, 39, of Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Scott H. Rash, who also sentenced Samuel’s co-defendant Patrick Michael La Fever, 60, also of Tucson, last summer to 97 months in prison followed by 60 months of supervised release. Both men previously pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and, in La Fever’s case, the conspiracy included the distribution of heroin.
On April 24, 2020, La Fever was arrested as he attempted to smuggle approximately 1.56 kilograms of heroin into the United States from Mexico through the vehicle lane at the port of entry in Nogales. La Fever was released from custody pending further investigation of the incident. Over the following months, La Fever continued to distribute narcotics. In October and November 2020, he engaged in a series of transactions involving the sale of approximately two kilograms of methamphetamine, in total.
La Fever was again arrested on Nov. 12, 2020, during an enforcement operation jointly conducted by HSI, DEA, and AZDPS. At the time of this second arrest, La Fever was in possession of drugs, two firearms, 457 rounds of ammunition, a sword, brass knuckles, and approximately one pound of high explosives.
During the investigation into La Fever’s conduct, law enforcement officers identified Samuels as one of La Fever’s drug associates. Samuels was subsequently arrested and, at the time he was taken into custody, he was found in possession of drugs, over $3,000 in cash, and a stolen firearm.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s U.S. Border Patrol, HSI, DEA, AZDPS, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives participated in the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael R. Lizano, District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution.
Learn more about narcotics smuggling in Arizona at @HSIPhoenix.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.