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Woman gets prison time in Sureños meth case in El Paso

January 6, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Woman gets prison time in Sureños meth case in El Paso

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A woman, who was arrested as part of a long-term probe conducted by federal agents into gun sales and drug distribution network run by Sureños gang members in El Paso, was sentenced to over five years behind bars.

On Thursday, 37-year-old Melissa “Poison Ivy” Alonso was sentenced as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors. The woman pleaded guilty to two counts of selling, distributing, or dispensing controlled substances.

As a result, Senior U.S. District Judge David Briones sentenced Alonso to five years behind bars on each count. The prison terms will be served concurrently. She also was hit with three years of supervised release after she concludes her term.

As part of the plea agreement, one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance was dropped.

Alonso was one of over two dozen members of the Sureños street gang apprehended as part of a three-year investigation spearheaded by the FBI, the U.S. DEA, and El Paso Police.

Alonso was taken into custody on July 13th, along with Carlos “Chapo” Dorado, whom investigators believe was her co-conspirator, The El Paso Times reported.

Court documents revealed Alonso and Dorado were allegedly dealing meth from October 2014 to June 2015.

Alonso and her attorney, Ruben Nuñez, asked for a lenient sentence during Thursday’s hearing. They contended that Alonso cooperated in the investigation, played only a minimal role in the drug organization, and also suffered as a drug addict.

“When my client was arrested, she met with agents and freely cooperated with their investigation,” Nuñez maintained. “She was lured to lend her truck in return for $50 for gas or would be given meth… She was nothing more than a gofer. She is not a leader nor did she play a key role in this small drug organization.”

Briones said, however, that evidence showed she played more of a primary role in the drug ring.

“I disagree with you,” Briones responded. “There were multiple occasions where she negotiated for drugs.”

Alonso told Briones that her involvement in the drug ring was due to her addiction and begged for help to defeat her drug problem.

“I would just like the opportunity to get the help I need, and I apologize,” Alonso stated. “No matter what is being said, I am a good person. I just ask for the opportunity to get the help I need.”

Alonso has also been ordered to participate in drug and mental health treatment.

Dorado’s case is still pending. He faces one charge of conspiring to distribute a controlled substance and two counts of selling, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance. A trial date has not been scheduled.

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