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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. Final Member of Drug Trafficking Conspiracy Sentenced to 17 Years Following Investigation

Final Member of Drug Trafficking Conspiracy Sentenced to 17 Years Following HSI, DEA Nogales Investigation

Release Date: May 15, 2024

NOGALES, Ariz. — On April 29, a Mexican national was sentenced to 17 years in prison for drug trafficking-conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the DEA out of Nogales investigated the case.

“The investigative work by HSI special agents, including the work by our law enforcement partner, DEA, led to this successful and lengthy sentencing,” said HSI Arizona Special Agent in Charge Francisco B. Burrola. “All the defendants in this drug trafficking ring will spend the foreseeable future in prison for peddling poison in our communities.”

Kevin Crosswell-Cervantes, 27, of Mexico, pleaded guilty to the drug trafficking charge on May 2, 2023.

Crosswell-Cervantes’ two co-conspirators also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine and were sentenced. On Sept. 20, 2023, Carlos Alberto Castro-Ruiz, 26, of Phoenix, was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison and on Nov. 13, 2023, Alexander Ortega-Islas, 22, of Phoenix, was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

The three co-conspirators all admitted that they delivered approximately 400,000 blue fentanyl pills, approximately 20,000 multicolored fentanyl pills called skittles, and approximately 25 pounds of methamphetamine to undercover officers on Sept. 22, 2022. Law enforcement officers also seized an AK-47-style firearm, a .45-caliber Kimber 1911 semiautomatic pistol with two magazines, and a .45-caliber FN semiautomatic pistol.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF 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, multiagency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona in Tucson Matthew G. Eltringham prosecuted the case.

Last Updated: 05/16/2024
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