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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Drug smuggling compartment specialist sentenced to 24 years

A California man who specialized in building secret compartments in vehicles used to smuggle drugs received a 24-year sentence in what prosecutors said was one of the first cases against a specialist who worked for drug dealers but didn’t directly handle the drugs. Alfred Anaya, 40, a native of San Fernando, CA, was sentenced to 292 months in federal prison and forfeiture of $3.2 million. Anaya, said a Jan. 6 statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas, operated in the state. “Evidence showed the defendant installed sophisticated hidden compartments in dozens of vehicles,” said U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom. “He knew he was working for drug traffickers.” Anaya was convicted on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, as well as methamphetamine and marijuana, and two counts of attempting to intimidate a witness, said the statement. Convicted in the case along with Anaya were James Clark, 29, of Overland Park, KS, who was given a sentence identical to Anaya’s on the same charges. Curtis Crow, 30, of Leawood, KS, was sentenced to 147 months on conspiracy and drug distribution charges. Anaya and Clark were convicted in Feb. 2011 and Crow pleaded guilty, said the statement. Prosecutors showed the men were members of a California-based drug trafficking organization that operated a drug distribution center in Kansas between 2008 and 2009 that distributed cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana in Kansas and Missouri. Prosecutors also presented evidence that Anaya installed secret compartments including a 20-kilogram compartment in a Ford F-150, a 10-kilogram compartment in a Honda Ridgeline, a 3-kilogram compartment in a Toyota Camry and a 10-kilogram compartment in a Toyota Sequoia.

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