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Press Release

Heroin and Methamphetamine Trafficker Sentenced to Over Nineteen Years Confinement

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

United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama announced that Felix Alfredo Rivas was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Callie V. Granade to 235 months confinement for heroin and methamphetamine trafficking.

On October 3, 2016, Rivas was stopped on Interstate 65 by a City of Saraland police officer for a traffic infraction. During the course of the traffic stop a City of Saraland dedicated canine, “Chico”, alerted for the presence of drugs in the vehicle, a Ford F-150 truck.  A later search of the vehicle revealed 128.6 grams of methamphetamine secreted in one of the two gas tanks installed on the vehicle. Further investigation revealed that Rivas was from Houston, Texas and that he crossed the U.S/Mexican border at Laredo, Texas in the same truck on September 30, 2016, approximately 72 hours prior to the traffic stop in Saraland.

Department of Homeland Security Investigators and officers from the United States Customs and Border Protection agency continued to investigate Rivas and his connection to drug trafficking.  The investigation and trial evidence revealed that Rivas purchased insurance for yet another Ford truck that was stopped crossing the U./S./Mexican border, also at Laredo, three days prior to Rivas crossing the border with the methamphetamine. A search of that vehicle revealed almost 9 kilograms of heroin hidden in two batteries for the vehicle.  The evidence revealed that Rivas had previously flown from Houston to Chicago to purchase insurance for the heroin laden vehicle and then he drove the vehicle back to Houston to be used for the drug run. Rivas was convicted of the offenses after a three day jury trial in July, 2017.   Rivas is a native of El Salvador. He is a non U.S. citizen but was legally present in the United States at the time of the criminal activity. 

The case was jointly investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, United States Customs and Border Protection, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the City of Saraland Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys George F. May and Lawrence J. Bullard prosecuted the case.

United States Attorney Richard W. Moore stated: “Our office partnered with federal investigators and the City of Saraland Police Department  to do what the U.S. Attorney’s Office has been doing for years……..making our community and the communities in other States safer by interdicting drug traffickers”.   Moore added: “People may be surprised to learn that heroin and opioid overdoses have overtaken traffic accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.   This is the kind of problem that our Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed federal agents and federal prosecutors to aggressively attack.  We intend to do our part in the Southern District of Alabama.”

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama at

Updated October 27, 2017