Mexican man convicted of drug trafficking while senator focuses on securing southern border

A man from Mexico has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for trafficking marijuana into the United States, according to a federal judge.

Carlos Arturo Quintana, a 41-year-old resident of Namiquipa, Chihuahua, Mexico, has been sentenced this week, as reported by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico.

In August 2022, the United States successfully extradited the man from Mexico.

During the operation, the confidential informant encountered Quintana, who was dressed in a police uniform and operating a clearly marked police vehicle. Alongside a group of other individuals in police attire, Quintana proceeded to transport 600 kilograms of marijuana using a dump truck.

The marijuana was discreetly equipped with a GPS tracking device by the confidential informant.

A week later, the tracker uncovered that the marijuana had reached a storage facility in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. As a result, law enforcement swiftly conducted a raid on the facility. The operation led to several arrests and the confiscation of drugs, guns, and communication devices. Tragically, one person lost their life during the operation.

In January 2024, Quintana admitted guilt for conspiring to distribute over 100 kilograms of marijuana. He was well aware that these illicit substances would be unlawfully smuggled into the United States.

Quintana was sentenced to 60 months in prison, with an additional four years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $10,000. It’s important to note that there is no possibility of parole in the federal system.

The FBI Albuquerque Field Office, along with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Las Cruces-Doña Ana County Metro Narcotics Agency, conducted a thorough investigation into the case.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, a Democrat from New Mexico, is urging the nation to take stronger measures to prevent the influx of illegal drugs, specifically fentanyl, through the southern border.

He is actively advocating for the passage of bills such as the FEND Off Fentanyl Act. He believes that this legislation will effectively combat international criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking. Additionally, he is championing the Stop Fentanyl at the Border Act, which aims to enable U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to hire more Officers and Border Patrol Agents. This increased manpower will enhance their ability to prevent the smuggling of drugs, specifically fentanyl, across the border.

“I am actively collaborating with fellow lawmakers in Congress to pass bipartisan legislation aimed at curtailing the influx of illicit fentanyl into our communities from China and Mexico. In a press release from his office, Heinrich emphasized the importance of strengthening border security and proactively intercepting fentanyl before it reaches our southern border. This effort was underscored by the Senate’s approval of a significant National Security Supplemental in February. The bill also included the FEND Off Fentanyl Act, which I proudly sponsored alongside bipartisan colleagues. This Act is designed to combat money laundering and enable the seizure of financial resources belonging to overseas criminal enterprises that are inundating our communities with illicit fentanyl.”

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MBS Staff
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