FRESNO - America Alejandra Quintana, 26, a Mexican national, was brought to Fresno on Tuesday to face a charge of methamphetamine trafficking, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
On January 3, 2013, a federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment charging her with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. She was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe today and entered a plea of not guilty. Her next court date is February 19, 2013.
According to court documents, on December 10, 2012, Quintana possessed methamphetamine with intent to distribute it.
When Quintana was stopped for a traffic violation in Madera County, a drug detection dog alerted to dog food bags. Inside the bags were 52 plastic bags each containing about one pound of methamphetamine.
Quintana was arrested on state charges, which were dropped after the federal indictment.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Fresno Methamphetamine Task Force, including the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the California Highway Patrol, and the California Department of Justice. Assistant United States Attorney Melanie L. Alsworth is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Quintana faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.