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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 29, 2017

Woman Sentenced to 150 Months Confinement for Multi-State Methamphetamine (ICE) Distribution Conspiracy

MOBILE, AL— The Acting United States Attorney, Steve Butler, announces that Jenna Kathleen Fitzhugh-Thomas was sentenced in United States District Court, by Judge Callie V. Granade, on June 27, 2017 to 12 ½ years confinement for being involved and having a leadership role in a multi-state methamphetamine distribution conspiracy. On November 23, 2015, a United States Postal Inspector intercepted a postal parcel shipped from a United States Post Office located in El Segundo, California destined for Fairhope, Alabama. Mobile Police Department dedicated K-9 “ARON” alerted to the odor of narcotics emanating from the parcel. A search warrant of the package revealed 16.93 kilograms of methamphetamine with a purity of 92.8%. 

The Postal Inspector contacted the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to pursue an investigation. The DEA investigation revealed that Fitzhugh-Thomas travelled from her home in Pensacola, Florida to Southern California to obtain the 16.93 kilograms of methamphetamine from her suppliers, Fermin Alvarado Ponce and Jennifer Arlene Rosas-Saucedo, were also charged and convicted for their role in the conspiracy. Fitzhugh-Thomas arranged for Carlos Marquis Gross and Kera York to accompany her to Southern California and all three of them were captured on postal video mailing the package from El Segundo, California to Fairhope, Alabama. Gross and York were prosecuted in the conspiracy.

Further investigation revealed that Fitzhugh-Thomas had sent Michael Riker via airline to meet Rosas-Saucedo in Los Angeles, California in March 2016 and Riker received 7.8 pounds of methamphetamine from Rosas-Saucedo. Riker then transported the methamphetamine on an Amtrak train to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he planned to meet Fitzhugh-Thomas. However, the DEA and local officials intercepted arrested Fitzhugh-Thomas and Riker in New Orleans. 

In September 2016, the DEA used an informant to purchase 1 kilogram of methamphetamine from Rosas-Saucedo, which again was shipped from Southern California to the Southern District of Alabama
   
In October 2016, investigative team members of FBI Vancouver authored a federal search warrant for Rosas-Saucedo’s and Ponce’s residence in Vancouver, Washington, as well as a vehicle at the property. A search of the residence revealed eight cellular phones, $7,388.00 in United States currency and multiple notebooks containing drug ledgers. A search of the vehicle, a 2013 Dodge Ram Pickup, yielded approximately $62,000 in United States currency, a stolen handgun and approximately 4.4 pounds of methamphetamine.

The case was jointly investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Vancouver, Washington, the United States Postal Inspector in Mobile and the Mobile Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney George May prosecuted the case.

Acting United States Attorney Steve Butler stated, “This case represented the quintessential example of the partnership between different federal law enforcement agencies as well as the cooperation between federal and local law enforcement agencies.  I laude the efforts of law enforcement in shutting down this significant methamphetamine trafficking organization.”

Updated June 30, 2017