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Press Release

Arizona Man Sentenced in Southwest Virginia Meth Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Pedro Loza III Sentenced to 72 Months in Federal Prison

Abingdon, Va. – A defendant in a drug distribution organization that trafficked methamphetamine from Texas and Indiana into Southwest Virginia was recently sentenced in federal court on drug conspiracy charges, United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh and Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares announced.

Pedro Loza III, 28, of Bullhead City, Arizona, was sentenced this week to 72 months in federal prison.  He was previously convicted of one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute and distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and one count of possessing with the intent to distribute and distributing 5 grams or more of methamphetamine. 

In all, five individuals were charged as being part of this drug trafficking conspiracy, four of whom have now been sentenced for their roles in the scheme. Paul Warren Rucker previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison in July 2022. Defendants Amber Lynn Tackett and Benjamin Alvis entered guilty pleas and are scheduled for sentencing in April 2023.  The lead defendant, Alonso Cantu-Cantu, is scheduled for trial in March 2023. 

This case arose from a series of indictments stemming from an ongoing methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy operating primarily in the Smyth County, Virginia area. In total, 26 defendants have been charged in connection with the investigation.

This investigation was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bristol, Virginia Office with assistance from the Smyth County Virginia Sheriff’s Office.  Numerous other agencies also provided assistance throughout the investigation including the Drug Enforcement Administration in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Birmingham, Alabama, the Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s Office, the Abingdon, Virginia Police Department, the Rockingham County Virginia RUSH Drug Task Force, the Rockingham County Virginia Sheriff’s Office, the Harrisonburg, Virginia Police Department, the Bessemer, Alabama Police Department, the Virginia Department of Corrections, the Virginia Department of Corrections Probation and Parole Unit, and the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority. 

Special Assistant United States Attorney M. Suzanne Kerney-Quillen, a Senior Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Virginia Attorney General’s Major Crimes and Emerging Threats Section, prosecuted the case for the United States. 

Updated November 18, 2022

Drug Trafficking