Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison
PHOENIX—On Oct. 6, 2014, Everardo Duarte, 38, of Sonora, Mexico, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow to 12 years’ imprisonment. Duarte pleaded guilty on July 21, 2014 to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
The year-long Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation into Duarte’s Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) was initiated in July 2012 and was conducted primarily in Flagstaff. On July 16, 2013, the defendant and his two co-defendants, Dustin Heath Ash and Mitchell Allan McKinnon, were charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and conspiracy charges. Kevin Lynn Bickford was charged in a separate indictment with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
The organization imported methamphetamine from Mexico into the United States, where it was ultimately distributed in Flagstaff, along with heroin. Co-defendants Ash, McKinnon, and Bickford were previously sentenced to terms of imprisonment.
The investigation in this case was initiated by the METRO Northern Arizona Narcotics Task Force, an organization made up of officers from the Flagstaff Police Department and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. The case was adopted federally by the FBI’s Northern Arizona Safe Streets Task Force, of which METRO is a part, working closely also with partners from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The prosecution was handled by Dimitra H. Sampson, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.