Two smugglers sentenced to prison

Ten years for drugs, eight years for the one who crashed and killed

Two border smugglers were sentenced to prison yesterday (March 13) for different crimes. Eduardo Peña, top dog in a Mexican pharmaceutical operation, was sentenced to 121 months in prison for distributing 55,813 tablets of the opioid oxycodone, worth $700,000, to at least 92 drug purchasers in the United States.

Peña accomplices had U.S. bank accounts in San Diego. During the first six months of 2014, over a quarter of a million dollars in drug proceeds were laundered by Ana Karen Gutierrez-Anaya. Between June 2013 and June 2014, another accomplice with U.S. bank accounts, Mayra Elizabeth Rangel Moreno, transported nearly half a million dollars to Peña.

In a separate case, Lydiana Castro of Calexico was sentenced to eight years in prison. Last year, she had picked up five illegal aliens at a gas station in an area known as "Pilot's Knob" near Andrade, California. The Border Patrol saw the car and went to the site. She sped off, careened down an embankment, got on Interstate 8, and smashed into a semi.

Two of the people she picked up were pronounced dead at the scene. One was pronounced brain dead and transported to Mexico at his family's request. One lost both his legs and another continues to live with injuries.

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