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Press Release

Transnational Methamphetamine-Trafficking Organization Dismantled, Leader Sentenced To More Than Nineteen Years

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven today sentenced Brian Quinonez-Soto (36, California) to 19 years and 7 months in federal prison for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. The court also ordered Quinonez-Soto to forfeit $33,214, an amount traceable to proceeds of the offense. 

Quinonez-Soto had pleaded guilty on February 12, 2018.

According to court documents and sentencing hearing evidence, Quinonez-Soto, while in California, led a methamphetamine-trafficking organization in the Middle District of Florida. He was held responsible for shipping more than 4.5 kilograms of high-purity methamphetamine, the highest quantity accounted for by the federal sentencing guidelines, into the Middle District of Florida. One of the co-conspirators admitted to receiving 15 pounds of methamphetamine from Quinonez-Soto.

The methamphetamine trafficked by Quinonez-Soto was extremely pure. For instance, the drugs from one of his shipments weighed nearly 450 grams and lab-tested to be 100% pure. 

Eight of Quinonez-Soto’s subordinates in his drug-trafficking organization have pleaded guilty and were previously sentenced:

  • Crystal Romine sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment on August 10, 2017;


  • Toni Lee Platt sentenced to 5 years, 10 months’ imprisonment on November 7, 2017;


  • Lovenia Wilson sentenced to 11 years, 3 months’ imprisonment on November 20, 2017;


  • Charles Johnson III sentenced to 5 years, 10 months’ imprisonment on April 23, 2018;


  • Tea Robert Vandugteren sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment on May 23, 2018;


  • Henry Eugene Smith sentenced to 100 months’ imprisonment on June 1, 2018;


  • Reyandra Camorlinga sentenced to 3 years’ imprisonment on July 26, 2018; and


  • William Piper sentenced to 8 years, 1 month’s imprisonment on September 17, 2018.

This case was investigated by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory T. Nolan.

Updated November 30, 2018

Drug Trafficking