Keivin Crosswell-Cervantes, 28, of Mexico, Carlos Alberto Castro-Ruiz, 27, of Avondale, Arizona, and Alexander Ortega-Islas, 22, of Phoenix, Arizona, were indicted on October 4, 2022, on Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl and Methamphetamine along with Use or Carry a Firearm during a Drug Trafficking Offense. The three defendants had their initial appearance on September 23, 2022, before United States Magistrate Judge Eileen S. Willett.
On Sept. 21, 2022, HSI special agents arrested Crosswell-Cervantes, Castro-Ruiz, and Ortega-Islas and seized approximately 410,000 blue fentanyl pills, approximately 20,000 multi-colored fentanyl pills, also known as “skittles”, and approximately 25 pounds of methamphetamine in Avondale, Arizona. During the enforcement action, special agents also seized an AK-47 style pistol, a Kimber 1911 45 caliber pistol with two magazines, and an FN 45 caliber pistol.
A conviction for Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl and Methamphetamine carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison with a maximum penalty of life in prison, a fine of up to $10,000,000, or both.
A conviction for Use or Carry a Firearms during a Drug Trafficking Offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.
Special Agents from Homeland Security Investigations, Nogales, conducted the investigation in this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew G. Eltringham, District of Arizona, Tucson, OCDETF Section, is handling the prosecution.