California-Based Narcotics Trafficker Sentenced to Nearly Five Years in Federal Prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl and Other Drugs to Maryland and Other East Coast Communities
Avalos Acted as an International Narcotics Importer; Two Firearms Found in Her Residence; Officers Recovered Approximately 866 grams of Fentanyl, Approximately 1,505 grams of Cocaine, and at least 36,897 grams of Marijuana.
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis sentenced Ana Christina Avalos a/k/a “Christina Cazares-Quintero”, age 35, of Phelan, California, to 57 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Division; Chief Malik Aziz of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department and Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to her plea agreement, between at least December 2018 and January 2020, Avalos conspired with others to distribute and posses with the intent to distribute fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana. Avalos and a co-conspirator resided in California and acted as international narcotic importers for a drug trafficking organization.
Along with a co-conspirator, Avalos supplied narcotics to fellow co-conspirators who then shipped narcotics from the west coast to the east coast of the United States. A New York based co-conspirator supplied co-conspirators in Maryland, Washington D.C., and the Northern Virginia areas. Avalos regularly traveled to the New York area to collect money from accomplices and other narcotic customers.
For example, on May 21, 2019, Avalos received $9,000 as partial payment for a drug transaction totaling in $22,500. In exchange, Avalos provided the associate with cocaine. Over the course of the next month, at Avalos’s instruction, a co-conspirator made payments to Avalos by depositing money orders into Avalos’s checking account.
Law enforcement also captured three phone calls between Avalos and co-conspirators in which they discuss the quality, logistics, and potential financial gain from trafficking-controlled substances. Additionally, there were a number of drug-laden packages shipped from the west coast to the east coast as part of the drug trafficking conspiracy. Law enforcement captured four parcels and discovered approximately 505 grams of cocaine, approximately 5.73 pounds of marijuana, approximately 9.2 grams of marijuana, and 28 pounds of marijuana inside the respective parcels.
As stated in the plea agreement, on January 8, 2020 law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at several locations important to the drug trafficking organization, including Avalos’s and a co-conspirator’s shared California residence, a Virginia residence, and another co-conspirator’s California residence. Officers recovered approximately 500 grams of marijuana, a .38 caliber revolver, and a semi-automatic handgun from Avalos’s residence. As a result of a search warrant conducted at a co-conspirator’s California residence and a co-conspirator’s Virginia residence, officers seized four cell phones, a drug ledger, drug packaging materials, two heat sealers, approximately 17 pounds of marijuana, one kilogram of cocaine, approximately 48 grams of heroin, and other drug packaging tools.
In total, officers recovered approximately 866 grams of fentanyl, approximately 1,505 grams of cocaine, and at least 36,897 grams of marijuana.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the DEA, the Maryland State Police, and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin B. Pulice and Timothy F. Hagan who prosecuted the case.
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