News Release
Date: April 09, 2012
Contact: Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Number: 602 664-5725

Leading Drug Trafficker Sentenced to More than 20 Years
--Nearly $2 Million in Drug Proceeds Seized--

April 9 (Phoenix, AZ) – Today DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman and Ann Birmingham Scheel, Acting U.S. Attorney announced that Pedro Aviles-Contreras, 36, of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico was sentenced by U.S. District Chief Judge Roslyn O. Silverto almost 22 years (262 months) in prison. Aviles-Contreras pled guilty on August 22, 2011 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine.

Aviles-Contreras, a leader of this drug trafficking organization (DTO), was one of three men charged in the case who conspired together and with others to distribute large quantities of cocaine to customers in the United States. They also conspired to collect narcotics proceeds from their U.S.-based customers to be returned to Mexico.

Aviles-Contreras maintained a stash house for use by DTO members, and was responsible for negotiating the delivery of kilograms of cocaine to customers. Aviles-Contreras was also responsible for coordinating the delivery of narcotics proceeds from the East Coast to Arizona. The proceeds were brought to the DTO stash house to be counted, repackaged, and transported to the cocaine source of supply. Aviles-Contreras, who had a previous felony conviction for narcotics trafficking in Arizona, was arrested on November 11, 2010 at the DTO stash house in Avondale, Ariz. Agents seized $1,881,190.00 from the residence along with a money counter and a small quantity of cocaine during the execution of a federal search warrant.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the DEA, Mesa Police Department, Tempe Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, and Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution is being handled by Jonell L. Lucca, Assistant United States Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.