Phoenix/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 26, 2024
Los Mochis Man Sentenced to Seven Years for Fentanyl Trafficking in PhoenixSource: azcourts.gov

A 20-year-old man from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, was handed a seven-year prison sentence last week after pleading guilty to fentanyl trafficking charges. Angel Valencia-Avendano, the young trafficker, will now face 84 months behind bars, as decided by U.S. Chief District Judge G. Murray Snow. The hefty prison term comes after Valencia-Avendano admitted to his intent to distribute the deadly opioid fentanyl.

Valencia-Avendano, found with a staggering 27 kilograms of fentanyl pills during a March 6, 2023, arrest, was beginning to paint a problematic picture for drug enforcement. Stopped for a traffic violation, the 280,000 pills were discovered in a duffle bag in his car by investigators observing the area near 78th Avenue and West McDowell Road in Phoenix. The subsequent search of Valencia-Avendano's apartment turned up more evidence of his drug operation, including a handgun and additional fentanyl, valued tools for someone entrenched in the narcotics trade.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office detailed that, along with the narcotics and handgun, $83,500 in cash and drug ledgers were seized from Valencia-Avendano's residence, indicating a well-documented trail of his illicit activities. Both the firearm and the cash were forfeited to the United States in a tangible rejection of Valencia-Avendano's contributions to the opioid crisis that still grips our nation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan McCarthy, handling the prosecution, stands as a bulwark against this epidemic. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration, who led the investigation, asserts their continuous commitment to combating the spread of fentanyl, an opioid that has claimed countless lives across the country. Having faced the might of federal law enforcement, Valencia-Avendano's conviction sends a clear signal to other traffickers entangled in this lethal trade.