Leader of Multistate Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison
Co-defendant Alaskan Drug Distributor Sentenced to Seven Years
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – On April 11, 2023, Judge Ralph Beistline of the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska sentenced a Mexican national to 14 years imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release for his role as the head of a drug trafficking organization that spanned multiple states. Judge Beistline also sentenced a lower-level coconspirator based in Alaska to a term of seven years of imprisonment on April 12, 2023.
According to court documents, Rene Alejandro Pompa-Villa pleaded guilty to continuing criminal enterprise and money laundering conspiracy for his role in a drug trafficking and distribution enterprise that stretched from Alaska to Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. From 2016 through October 2020, Pompa-Villa, the leader of the organization, regularly mailed large amounts of drugs to distributors throughout the country, including mailing parcels to drug dealers in Anchorage, and deposited hundreds of thousands of dollars of drug proceeds into various bank accounts. During the nearly three-year investigation, law enforcement officers seized about six kilograms of heroin, four kilograms of methamphetamine and four kilograms of fentanyl sent through the mail. The Alaska drug distributor, Kyle Redpath, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances for receiving drugs through the mail from the drug trafficking organization. Redpath also deposited thousands of dollars into bank accounts owned by the organization.
The continuing criminal enterprise statute that Pompa-Villa was convicted of violating applies to high-level leaders of large and organized criminal organizations.
Pompa-Villa and Redpath were indicted in April 2021 along with 8 other members of the enterprise located in Anchorage, San Diego, and Tucson. Dustin Noonan was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment on March 23, 2023. Tyler Landroche was sentenced to 70 months imprisonment on February 23, 2023. Kimberly Renee Mackey was sentenced to 48 months imprisonment on February 22, 2023. Jessica Twigg was sentenced to time served on May 16, 2022. Carlos Camacho, Christopher Pompa-Villa, and Heydimar Marrero are awaiting sentencing. Victor Pompa-Villa remains at large.
“The sentence imposed today underscores the commitment of the DEA to tirelessly pursue, and go wherever an investigation leads, to ensure those who traffic poison into our communities are held accountable,” said Jacob D. Galvan, Acting Special Agent in Charge, DEA Seattle Field Division.
“Today’s sentence disrupts a continuing criminal enterprise that spanned coast-to-coast and border-to-border,” said U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker. “The United States Attorney’s Office, in concert with our law enforcement partners, will continue to aggressively prosecute and seek justice against traffickers of fentanyl and other illegal drugs that are poisoning our communities.”
“The US Postal Inspection Service will continue to aggressively investigate individuals like Pompa-Villa who use the US Mail in support of their criminal activities.” said Inspector in Charge Anthony Galetti, “This should also serve as a reminder to those who abuse our community by peddling dangerous narcotics; law enforcement will find you and bring you to justice. Cases like these don’t come together without teamwork and we thank all agencies involved.”
“A rockstar once said ‘I’ve never had a problem with drugs. I’ve had problems with the police.’ Though not a rock star, Mr. Pompa-Villa, because of his drug trafficking, also has problems with the police,” said Special Agent in Charge Bret Kressin, IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS:CI), Seattle Field Office. “Illegal drugs are a tremendous plague on our communities. Because of that, IRS:CI will continue to work with our partners in the community and in law enforcement to stop the flow of drugs and cause as many problems for drug traffickers as possible, rockstar or not.”
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); Alaska State Troopers and the Anchorage Police Department are investigating the case. The U.S. Marshals had a significant role in making the arrests and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Tucson and San Diego played a critical role in the indictment of this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher D. Schroeder and Karen Vandergaw prosecuted the case.
This investigation and prosecution are part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”), which identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
Beware of pills bought on the street: One Pill Can Kill. Fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, is a highly potent opiate that can be diluted with cutting agents to create counterfeit pills that purport to mimic the effects of Oxycodone, Percocet, and other drugs, but can be obtained at a lower cost. However, very small variations in the amount or quality of fentanyl create huge effects on the potency of the counterfeit pills and can easily cause death. Fentanyl has now become the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States. Counterfeit, fentanyl-laced pills are usually shaped and colored to resemble pills that are sold legitimately at pharmacies. For example, the counterfeit pills involved in this case, known as M30s, mimic Oxycodone, but when sold on the street they routinely contain fentanyl. These tablets are round and often light blue in color, though they may be made in many colors, and have “M” and “30” imprinted on opposite sides of the pill.