News Release
November 05, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Public Information Officer
(602) 664-5725

Five Armed Meth Dealers Sentenced to 107 Years in Prison
Cache of Firearms, Firearm Parts and Ammunition Seized

NOV 05
-- PHOENIX - Elizabeth W. Kempshall, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Phoenix Field Division joined Dennis K. Burke, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, to announce the sentencing of Jesus Rivera-Alvarado, of Mexico. Rivera-Alvarado was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison by United States District Judge G. Murray Snow. Rivera-Alvarado was the last of a group of five armed drug dealers that were convicted and sentenced to a total of 107 years in prison. One of the codefendants, Jose Benjamin Hernandez, previously pled guilty to conspiracy to distribution of methamphetamine.

The remaining defendants, including Rivera-Alvarado, were convicted of the
methamphetamine and various weapons and immigration charges following a six-day jury trial in late June of 2010.

“Drugs and violence go hand in hand. This deadly combination must be met with combined law enforcement expertise at the local, state, county and federal levels,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Elizabeth W. Kempshall. “DEA is committed to keeping violent drug traffickers off the streets and putting them where they belong—behind bars.”

“This case is another chilling reminder that drug trafficking is a well-armed industry,” said US Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “I want to thank the DEA, ICE and the Phoenix Police Department for their thorough investigative work on this case.”

The evidence presented at trial showed that on August 27, 2009, Jose Pita-Mota and
Hernandez negotiated the sale of one pound of methamphetamine. Hernandez, along with Juan Carreno-Gutierrez, Felix Pita-Mota, and Rivera-Alvarado delivered methamphetamine to a supermarket parking lot near 59th Avenue and Thomas Road, in Phoenix. Felix Pita-Mota, Carreno-Gutierrez, and Rivera-Alvarado all possessed loaded handguns and were arrested at the scene. Jose Pita-Mota was arrested at his home when agents served a search warrant.

The search of Jose Pita-Mota’s home revealed a cache of firearms, firearm parts, and ammunition, along with counterfeit money, and a chemical used to dilute methamphetamine.
The other co-defendants were sentenced by Judge Snow on October 21, 2010. The
sentences included 27 years for Jose Luis Pita-Mota, 15 years for Juan Carreno-Gutierrez, 20 years and eight months for Felix Pita-Mota, and 19 years and seven months for Jose Benjamin Hernandez.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Phoenix, and the Phoenix Police Department. The prosecution is being handled by James B. Morse Jr. and Tracy Van Buskirk, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona,


# # #