San Diego woman sentenced for smuggling fentanyl pills into US

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SAN DIEGO — A San Diego woman who conspired to smuggle more than 450,000 fentanyl pills into the United States was sentenced Monday to 14 years in federal prison.

April Spring Kelly, 39, a U.S. citizen living in Tijuana, pleaded guilty to smuggling pills through border crossings in San Diego and Nogales, Arizona, over a nine-month period, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Kelly moved the pills to mid-level distributors in San Diego and Phoenix, prosecutors said.

Her guilty plea in June to charges of importation of methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl and conspiracy to distribute fentanyl also included an admission that she tried to cross the border with those three drugs in her car on Nov. 30, 2018.

“San Diego unfortunately 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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