Trafficker smuggling large quantities of deadly fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine sentenced to 168 months
SAN DIEGO – April Spring Kelly, of San Diego, was sentenced in federal court on Friday to 14 years in prison for conspiring to smuggle more than 450,000 fentanyl pills from Mexico into the United States during a nine-month period ending in October 2018.
According to admissions in her plea agreement, Kelly smuggled the fentanyl pills through ports of entry in San Diego and Nogales, Ariz., for distribution to mid-level distributors in San Diego and Phoenix.
Kelly, a U.S. citizen living in Tijuana, also admitted to smuggling large quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine in her vehicle as she attempted to cross the international border at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on Nov. 30, 2018. According to court documents, she admitted attempting to smuggle 36.24 pounds of methamphetamine, 37.83 pounds of cocaine and 11.99 pounds of powdered fentanyl in her vehicle. She was arrested that day by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
“The amount of powdered fentanyl Kelly attempted to smuggle into the U.S. could have produced millions of fentanyl pills and significantly impacted the increasing fentanyl-related death toll in San Diego and across the country,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Steve Woodland. “Kelly’s sentencing is a stark warning to Americans who decide to smuggle fentanyl and other drugs from Mexico: If you aren’t caught at the border, DEA and our partners will work relentlessly to trace the drugs back to you to ensure you spend many years behind bars.”
“San Diego unfortunately is the gateway for fentanyl to the rest of the country, and we are working aggressively to close that gate, one smuggler and one distributor at a time,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “With so many lives at stake, we are pursuing more of these cases than ever.”
United States Attorney’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Customs and Border Protection
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