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ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger sentenced Linda Liceth Prada-Ardilla, 29, a Colombian national residing in Asheville, N.C. to 135 months in prison and five years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
U.S. Attorney Murray is joined in making today’s announcement by Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office; Interim Chief Wade Wood of the Asheville Police Department; and Sheriff Quentin Miller of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.
According to court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, in July 2017, law enforcement became aware that Prada-Ardilla and her co-defendant, Oscar Orlando Navarro-Melendez, were trafficking methamphetamine in and around Buncombe County. Court records show that law enforcement recovered from an Asheville-area hotel a suitcase which belonged to Prada-Ardilla and her co-defendant. Inside the suitcase, law enforcement located methamphetamine, cocaine, drug paraphernalia, a firearm and 25 rounds of ammunition. Law enforcement also searched Prada-Ardilla’s hotel room, where they found additional quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine, a firearm and more ammunition.
Prada-Ardilla is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole. The charges against Navarro-Melendez are still pending.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the DEA and the Buncombe County Anti-Crime Task Force (B-CAT) for their investigation of this case.
Assistant United States Attorney John Pritchard, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville, is in charge of the prosecution.