News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2006
Special Agent Ramona Sanchez
Public Information Officer
(602) 664-5725

Tucson Man Sentenced to 25 Years
in Prison for Interstate Drug Conspiracy

DEC 18 -- TUCSON – Mark Anthony Simmons, 35, of Tucson, was sentenced here to 25 years in prison and a $25,000 fine by United States District Judge David C. Bury. Simmons was found guilty by a federal jury on October 2, 2006 of conspiracy and other narcotic violations related to the transport of illegal drugs from Arizona to Ohio, which was profitable enough for Simmons to purchase three 18- wheel semi tractor-trailers to transport the drugs. Simmons has an extensive criminal history in Tucson.

During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officials seized approximately 1,500 pounds of marijuana while it was being transported between Arizona and Ohio. The evidence at trial showed that the defendants used rental cars and later semi tractor- trailers to transport the drugs to Ohio in 2003 and 2004. Three kilograms of cocaine seized at an airport in Philadelphia were later traced back to the Simmons’ criminal organization, which has been linked to the crack cocaine trade involving gang organizations in Tucson.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Pima County Sheriff’s Department in coordination with Apache County, Arizona Cooperative Enforcement Narcotics Team, St. Charles, Missouri Sheriff’s Office, Foristell, Missouri Police Department, Missouri State Police, Arkansas State Police, Pennsylvania State Police, Philadelphia Police Department, New Mexico State Police, Medina County, Ohio Drug Task Force, and DEA Philadelphia.

The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys James T. Lacey and Nicolle Krivda, District of Arizona, Tucson.