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

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Leader Of Rochester-Based Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced To Twenty-Six Years In Prison

United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker announced the sentencing of MARCO ANTONIO AVILA, 30, to 26 years in prison for his leadership role in a Rochester-based methamphetamine and cocaine distribution organization. AVILA, who pleaded guilty on May 30, 2017, was sentenced on May 21, 2018, by Judge Donovan W. Frank in United States District Court in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, from December 2015 through June 2017, AVILA was the leader and facilitator of the Avila Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO), an extensive Rochester-based methamphetamine and cocaine distribution organization. AVILA’S connections served as the source of the supply of drugs, while AVILA managed the distribution and the profits. During this same time, AVILA’S DTO was also involved in an ongoing and violent shooting war with a rival drug trafficking organization in the Rochester area.

According to documents filed in court, on January 9, 2017, AVILA was indicted for his drug trafficking activities, and on May 28, 2017, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine. Following his guilty plea, while awaiting sentencing, AVILA was held in the Anoka County Adult Detention Facility. While in custody, between June 2017 and September 2017, AVILA continued to facilitate the supply and distribution of methamphetamine from inside the jail walls. AVILA was again charged on October 18, 2017, and on January 22, 2018, he pleaded guilty to a second count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

The separate prosecutions were the result of investigative efforts by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Southeast Minnesota Violent Crime Enforcement Team (SEMVCET), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Anoka-Hennepin Drug Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Rochester Police Department, the St. Paul Police Department, the Worthington Police Department, the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics & Gang Task Force (S.E.T.F.), and the Minnesota State Patrol.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen A. Slaughter is prosecuting the case.


Defendant Information:


San Jose, California


  • Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine, 1 count
  • Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, 1 count


  • 312 months in prison
  • 10 years of supervised release





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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

Drug Trafficking
Updated May 22, 2018