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Press Release

Alleged Drug Trafficker Extradited from Mexico to Eastern District of California

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On Friday, April 1, 2016, Alvaro Rios-Madrid, 57, of Guamuchil, Sinaloa, Mexico, was formally extradited to the United States by Mexico to face federal narcotics charges, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

On December 13, 2012, a federal grand jury in Sacramento indicted Rios-Madrid on one count of conspiring to distribute cocaine and two counts of using phones to facilitate the distribution of narcotics.

According to court documents, the government alleges that Rios-Madrid regularly exported large quantities of cocaine from Mexico to the United States and used a U.S.-based distribution cell to move his cocaine through a nationwide network of couriers to several states including Utah, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, Massachusetts, and California. Rios-Madrid is alleged to have regularly smuggled multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine into the United States through various ports of entry, including Nogales, Arizona, and San Ysidro, California. The cash proceeds from the sale of Rios-Madrid’s cocaine totaled, on average, between $500,000 and $1.3 million every month. Operatives in the United States arranged for those proceeds to be sent to Rios-Madrid in Mexico. As a result of a long-term investigation, the DEA and other state and federal agencies seized large quantities of cocaine and over $1 million in cash.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the United States Marshals Service; the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol; the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department; the Central Valley HIDTA; the Sacramento Police Department; the California Department of Justice (Cal MMET); the San Joaquin County Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force; the Elk Grove Police Department; the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department; the Stockton Police Department; the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; the Galt Police Department; the California Highway Patrol; the Nevada State Highway Patrol; the Minnesota Highway Patrol; the Kansas State Highway Patrol; the Massachusetts State Highway Patrol; and the Iowa State Highway Patrol. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance with the extradition. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael M. Beckwith and Paul A. Hemesath are prosecuting the case.

If convicted of the conspiracy, Rios-Madrid faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine, and five years to life of supervised release. If convicted of using a cellphone to facilitate a drug trafficking offense, Rios-Madrid faces a maximum statutory penalty of four years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated April 4, 2016

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 2:12-cr-439 JAM