Previously deported woman sentenced for trafficking meth

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PORTLAND — Guadalupe Navarro (a.k.a. “Mari Vasquez”), 50, of Tulare, Calif., was sentenced on Jan. 20 by U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown to 78 months in prison, for methamphetamine trafficking and illegal re-entry after deportation.

On the evening of October 3, 2010, a Sherman County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped defendant’s vehicle for a traffic infraction. Defendant provided false identification, and deputies ultimately discovered her true identity and an outstanding warrant for her arrest. During a search of her vehicle, deputies seized one pound of methamphetamine and three pounds of marijuana.

A criminal history check also revealed that she had a prior felony conviction in 2003 for unlawfully manufacturing methamphetamine. She was later deported to Mexico.

Subsequently, the defendant illegally returned to the United States.

Soon after her arrest in Sherman County, local authorities learned defendant was a target in an investigation initiated by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Fresno, Calif. In the summer of 2010, DEA agents obtained authorization to conduct wiretaps on several members of a Mexican National Drug Trafficking Organization operating in southern California. Defendant was intercepted in many incriminating calls, including conversations in which she described in coded language the quality of methamphetamine she was selling, price points, and growing frustration with her sources of supply.

“This conviction is the result of the excellent police work by the Sherman County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with DEA agents in Fresno,” said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. “This teamwork is essential to stemming the flow of methamphetamine coming north from Mexico into the Pacific Northwest and beyond.”

This case was investigated by the Sherman County Sheriff’s Office, DEA Fresno, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Leah K. Bolstad.