Drug Enforcement Administration


Brian M. McKnight, Special Agent in Charge

May 22, 2018

Contact: Cori Rizman

Phone Number: (312) 353-7875

Leader Of Rochester-based Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced To 26 Years In Prison

CHICAGO - Today, Special Agent in Charge Brian M. McKnight, along with United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker announced the sentencing of Marco Antonio Avila, 30, to 26 years in prison for his leadership role in a Rochester-based methamphetamine and cocaine distribution organization. AVILA, who pleaded guilty on May 30, 2017, was sentenced on May 21, 2018, by Judge Donovan W. Frank in United States District Court in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, from December 2015 through June 2017, Avila was the leader and facilitator of the Avila Drug Trafficking (DTO), an extensive Rochester-based methamphetamine and cocaine distribution organization. Avila’s connections served as the source of the supply of drugs, while Avila managed the distribution and the profits. During this same time, Avila’s DTO was also involved in an ongoing and violent shooting war with a rival drug trafficking organization in the Rochester area.

According to documents filed in court, on January 9, 2017, Avila was indicted for his drug trafficking activities, and on May 28, 2017, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine. Following his guilty plea, while awaiting sentencing, Avila was held in the Anoka County Adult Detention Facility. While in custody, between June 2017 and September 2017, Avila continued to facilitate the supply and distribution of methamphetamine from inside the jail walls. Avila was again charged on October 18, 2017, and on January 22, 2018, he pleaded guilty to a second count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

The separate prosecutions were the result of investigative efforts by the Drug Enforcement (DEA), the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Southeast Minnesota Violent Crime Enforcement (SEMVCET), the Anoka-Hennepin Drug Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & (ATF), the Rochester Police Department, the St. Paul Police Department, the Worthington Police Department, the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics & Gang Task (S.E.T.F.), and the Minnesota State Patrol.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen A. Slaughter is prosecuting the case.

Defendant Information:

Marco Antonio Avila, 30
San Jose, California

  • Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine, 1 count
  • Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, 1 count
  • 312 months in prison
  • 10 years of supervised release
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