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Major Player in Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to 12 ½ Years in Federal Prison

SEP 29 (FORT SMITH, Ark.) – A major drug trafficker was sentenced to serve 12 ½ years in federal prison today, announced Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Stephen G. Azzam and Kenneth Elser, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.

Jose Mendez-Alvarado, 39, of Fort Smith, was sentenced to 150 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release on one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Aiding and Abetting. Twelve other defendants who were a part of this drug trafficking organization in the Fort Smith area were previously sentenced to federal prison.

According to court records, in November 2014, law enforcement in Fort Smith learned that large quantities of methamphetamine were being distributed in the area by Jose Mendez-Alvarado, and other members of a drug trafficking organization.  Over the course of the next several months, investigators conducted six separate controlled purchases from Mendez-Alvarado and his associates.  In early June 2015, Mendez-Alvarado traveled to California to pick up a large amount of methamphetamine and bring it back to Fort Smith for distribution.  On his way back from California in mid-June, Mendez-Alvarado was stopped for a traffic violation in Fort Smith and approximately 11 pounds of methamphetamine was seized by law enforcement.  Each of the defendants was indicted by a federal grand jury in September, 2015. 

“The successful prosecution and sentencing of members of this drug trafficking organization, to include Jose Mendez-Alvarado, should be a warning to anyone thinking of polluting our communities with this addictive substance,” said Azzam.  “DEA, along with our law enforcement partners, are committed to investigating illegal organizations that profit from the distribution of methamphetamine as well as educating the public as to the dangers of this deadly scourge.”
Agencies that took part in the investigation were the DEA, the Fort Smith Police Department, The Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office, and the 12th Judicial District Drug Task Force. 

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.  

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