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Press Release

California Drug Trafficker Sentenced to More Than Eight Years in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Alabama

MOBILE, AL – A Los Angeles, California man was sentenced today to 105 months in prison for conspiring to distribute kilograms of marijuana.

According to court documents, Anthony Robert Tirado, 31, was the leader of a California-based drug-trafficking organization that distributed hundreds of kilograms of marijuana from the Los Angeles area to Mobile and other cities throughout the United States from at least January 2018 through March 2022. Tirado employed several couriers—juveniles among them—who ferried bulk amounts of marijuana in their checked luggage on dozens of commercial flights from California to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia, among other locations. In turn, the couriers transported hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds back to California for Tirado. In Los Angeles, Tirado rented several units at a luxury apartment complex that he used to store and distribute bulk amounts of marijuana in furtherance of his nationwide drug-distribution operation.

On multiple occasions, law enforcement seized bulk drugs and cash from Tirado’s couriers in various locations in the Southern District of Alabama and elsewhere. For example, in November 2018, narcotics agents arrested one of Tirado’s Alabama-based coconspirators who had recently purchased drugs from one of Tirado’s juvenile couriers at a hotel in Mobile. During a subsequent search of the coconspirator’s car and apartment, agents seized a handgun, 20 pounds of high grade marijuana in a suitcase, and more than $33,000 in cash. On another occasion in June 2020, agents seized nearly $60,000 in bulk cash from one of Tirado’s couriers at the airport in New Orleans, Louisiana.

When United States marshals tracked and arrested Tirado in California on March 18, 2022, Tirado admitted that he knew about his pending arrest warrant but had not turned himself in. A search of Tirado’s cell phone revealed numerous text messages, photos, videos, and other data demonstrating that until his arrest, Tirado had continued distributing bulk marijuana using couriers traveling on commercial flights to Alabama and elsewhere.

In addition to the 105-month prison term, United States District Judge Terry F. Moorer ordered Tirado to serve a five-year term of supervised release upon his release from prison, during which time he will undergo drug testing and treatment. The court did not impose a fine, but Judge Moorer ordered Tirado to pay $100 in special assessments.

U.S. Attorney Sean P. Costello of the Southern District of Alabama made the announcement.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mobile Police Department investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin Roller and Deborah Griffin prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

Updated July 28, 2023