A man who assisted a multinational drug trafficking organization was sentenced today to more than five years in federal prison.
Jose Leonardo Alvarez, age 25, from Riverside, California, received the prison term after a March 13, 2020 guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
In 2013, Jose Maria Valencia, Alvarez’s father, was sent to California state prison after being convicted of conspiracy to commit murder. Despite his incarceration, Valencia continued to run his drug trafficking organization. He ultimately directed the distribution of more than 250 pounds of ice methamphetamine from his prison cell. Valencia relied on family members, such as Alvarez, to assist him with the drug trafficking. Alvarez traveled to Iowa on multiple occasions to serve as Valencia’s eyes and ears, and reported back to Valencia on the status of organization. Alvarez also collected money from the sale of methamphetamine in Iowa. Alvarez was a fugitive for more than two years until his arrest in September 2019.
Alvarez was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade. Alvarez was sentenced to 70 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system. Alvarez is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa C. Williams as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force consisting of the DEA; the Linn County Sheriff’s Office; the Cedar Rapids Police Department; the Marion Police Department; the Iowa City Police Department; and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; the Mid-Iowa Task Force, comprised of the Marshalltown Police Department, Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, Tama County Sheriff’s Office, Grundy County Sheriff’s Office, Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Falls Police Department, Eldora Police Department and the Dysart Police Department; and the Tri-County Drug Task Force, comprised of the Waterloo Police Department, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar Falls Police Department, LaPorte City Police Department, Hudson Police Department, Evansdale Police Department, University of Northern Iowa Police Department, Waverly Police Department and the Bremer County Sheriff’s Office.
Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file number is 17-CR-2041.
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