News and Press Releases

Alleged International Narcotics Trafficker Extradited from Mexico on Cocaine Conspiracy Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, announce the extradition of Sandra Avila-Beltran, a/k/a “La Reina de Pacifica,” 51, of Mexico, to the United States to face federal narcotics charges in the Southern District of Florida. She is charged with conspiring to distribute large quantities of cocaine throughout the United States. Avila-Beltran arrived in the Southern District of Florida yesterday, and made her initial appearance in court today before Magistrate Judge O’Sullivan. Her next hearing will be on August 14, 2012 before Magistrate Judge Patrick A. White.

On March 12, 2004, Sandra Avila-Beltran and six others were charged in an indictment with participating in a conspiracy to import more than five kilograms of cocaine into the United States, and a conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. Avila-Beltran is one of the last defendants to answer charges in connection with this indictment. Five co-defendants have pled guilty and been sentenced and one remains a fugitive. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore.

Mr. Ferrer thanked the DEA Miami Field Division and members of the South Florida HIDTA for their extraordinary work in this multi-agency multi-jurisdictional investigation. Mr. Ferrer also thanked Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Marshal’s Service (USMS), Dirrección de Investigación Criminal – Policia Nacional de Colombia (DIJIN-Colombia), for their coordination and assistance in this matter. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the Procuraduría General de la República (PGR- Mexico), Policía Federal Ministerial (PFM-Mexico), Interpol – Mexico, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs for their ongoing assistance.

This case results from an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) joint investigation, led by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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