Phoenix/ Crime & Emergencies
AI Assisted Icon
Published on May 14, 2024
Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 17 Years for Fentanyl and Meth Distribution in Multi-agency StingSource: Unsplash/Tingey Injury Law Firm

A Mexican national will be trading the sun-drenched landscapes of his homeland for the grim enclosures of a U.S. prison cell, having been sentenced in a fentanyl and meth trafficking sting. Keivin Crosswell-Cervantes, 27, was doled out a 17-year sentence by U.S. District Judge Steven P. Logan on April 29, as reported by the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona. The 27-year-old pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl and Methamphetamine on May 2, 2023.

Swimming in criminal waters with Crosswell-Cervantes were co-conspirators Carlos Alberto Castro-Ruiz, 26, of Phoenix, and Alexander Ortega-Islas, 22, also from Phoenix. Having pleaded guilty to the same charge, Castro-Ruiz was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison on September 20, 2023, while Ortega-Islas began serving his 12-year sentence following a November 13, 2023, ruling. Crosswell-Cervantes and his crew admitted to handing over a large haul of drugs, including approximately 400,000 blue fentanyl pills and 20,000 multi-colored pills known as "Skittles," and around 25 pounds of meth, to Undercovers on September 22, 2022, as per the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona.

The stash wasn't all they found; law enforcement seized a lethal arsenal during the operation: an AK-47-style pistol and two .45 caliber semi-automatic pistols with ammunition, as detailed by the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona. The bust underscores a continuous struggle against the tide of illegal narcotics, with fentanyl being a particularly insidious agent in the opioid epidemic ravaging U.S. communities.

This case represents the culmination of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation, a hallmark of U.S. legal and tactical offense against high-level drug trafficking. The multi-agency effort represents an accomplished coalition of federal, state, and local law enforcers taking aim at the criminal networks that threaten the country's safety and well-being. Homeland Security Investigations Nogales and the Drug Enforcement Administration Nogales spearheaded the narcotics probe with Assistant United States Attorney Matthew G. Eltringham, District of Arizona, Tucson, handling the legal throws and takedowns in the courtroom.