A woman from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico was sentenced to three years in prison for her role in distribution of oxycodone pills along the Arizona border with Mexico, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release.
Ma de Lourdes Casas-Franco, 45, worked at a pharmacy in Mexico called Sonora’s Desert Pharmacy from June 2010 through July 2011. During the time, she arranged for the pills to go into the United States, according to the department. She had a bank account under her name in the United States that part of the profit would be deposited into, officials said.
Casas-Franco was one of three people to be accused in the case, according to court documents. It showed that in one instance, the trio sold 300 tablets and sold 180 in another. One of the other people involved has an ongoing case. The status of the third person was not available in court records.
DOJ documents say Casas-Franco made more than $10,000 on a single transaction at least one time, officials said.
Oxycodone is an opioid that is often abused or over-prescribed. Cronkite News reported that there have been 3,600 deaths from opioids in Arizona since 2010, and two million grams of oxycodone were brought into Arizona in 2015. This is the third-most per capita in the United States, Cronkite News reported.
It’s not uncommon for ozycodone to be found at border crossings.
Last month, there were two different seizures of the drug at border entries in San Diego. On March 9, Fox 5 San Diego reported that $1.4 million worth of oxycodone was found in the car of a U.S. citizen who lived in Mexico. On March 24, Fox 5 San Diego reported that border patrol officers found “65 pounds of cocaine and thousands of Oxycodone pills” in another car.
Additionally, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency reported that 32 people died from May 2015 through February 2017 due to fake oxycodone pills that were laced with a more powerful opioid by Mexican cartels and then transported into the states.
The Mesa Police Department is one of the agencies within the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force that assisted in the investigation of Casas-Franco, officials said.
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