Fugitive of More Than 23 Years Sentenced to More Than Six Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking Offenses
ROCKFORD—A former Freeport, Illinois man was sentenced today in federal court by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala on a federal drug trafficking charge. The defendant, Roberto Alvarado, 61, was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Judge Kapala ordered that at the end of his prison term, Alvarado, a citizen of Mexico, surrender to officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.
Alvarado had been arrested on December 1, 1989, on a drug trafficking charge by FBI special agents. On December 15, 1989, he was released on a $20,000 bond pending trial. However, Alvarado failed to appear for a court appearance on Sept 18, 1990, and fled from Illinois. His bond was forfeited and the assets he had posted for bond were turned over to the United States. An arrest warrant was also issued for him. On June 28, 2013, Alvarado was a passenger in a car that was stopped in Montana by a State Police trooper for speeding. The trooper was able to identify Alvarado as being wanted by the FBI and took him into custody. Alvarado appeared before a federal magistrate, who ordered that Alvarado be detained and transported to Rockford.
Once in Rockford, Magistrate Judge P. Michael Mahoney ordered that Alvarado be detained pending trial. Alvarado pled guilty to the drug trafficking charge on December 4, 2013. In his plea agreement, Alvarado admitted that on December 1, 1989, in Rock Falls, he had attempted to possess with the intent to distribute 1,414 grams of cocaine. At sentencing today, Judge Kapala noted the amount of time that Alvarado had spent as a fugitive and found it to be an aggravating factor in imposing the sentence.
The sentencing was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney John G. McKenzie.