San Diego woman pleads guilty to smuggling drugs across US-Mexico border

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego woman pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges related to smuggling large quantities of drugs from Mexico into the United States, including more than 450,000 fentanyl pills.

April Spring Kelly, 38, admitted in San Diego federal court that she smuggled the pills, along with methamphetamine and cocaine, through ports of entry in San Diego and Nogales, Arizona. The drugs were then moved to mid-level distributors in San Diego and Phoenix, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The smuggling occurred between February and October of last year.

She also attempted to smuggle drugs through the San Ysidro Port of Entry last Nov. 30, leading to her arrest with around 36 pounds of methamphetamine, 37 pounds of cocaine, and a dozen pounds of powdered fentanyl in her car, according to authorities.

Kelly is slated to be sentenced Oct. 11 before U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino.

“San Diego is the gateway for fentanyl to the rest of the country, and we are working aggressively to close that gate, one smuggler and one distributor at a time,” U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said.

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