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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 27, 2022

Federal Inmate Sentenced to an Additional 29 Years for Orchestrating a Methamphetamine Trafficking Operation from Prison

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A federal inmate was sentenced to an additional 349 months in prison followed by ten years of supervised release for continuing to facilitate a methamphetamine trafficking operation from federal prison, announced United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger. 

According to court documents, in early 2017, Marco Antonio Avila, 37, was charged and convicted in federal court for his leadership role in an ongoing and extensive drug trafficking organization operating in and around Rochester. While awaiting sentencing in 2017, Avila continued his methamphetamine trafficking operations through jail calls and in-person visits, was prosecuted again, and plead guilty to a second federal drug trafficking offense on May 30, 2017. On May 21, 2018, Avila was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 26 years in Bureau of Prisons (BOP) custody. 

According to court documents, from December 2019 through at least February 2020, Avila continued his operations by recruiting and directing at least one co-conspirator to purchase large quantities of methamphetamine from a Mexico-based drug supplier to distribute to customers throughout southern Minnesota. Recorded BOP phone calls revealed Avila’s interactions with his co-conspirator, including inquiring about the status of distribution efforts and instructions to pay Avila commissions for his work as a middleman. On February 23, 2020, law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at one of the co-conspirator’s storage lockers in Woodbury. Inside the storage locker, agents found thirty separate one-pound packages of methamphetamine stored inside a Corvette. 

Avila was sentenced today in U.S. District Court before Senior Judge Donovan W. Frank. On March 25, 2022, Avila pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Prisons, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the Rochester Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen A. Slaughter prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated June 27, 2022