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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of North Dakota
For Immediate Release
Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl, United States Attorney
www.justice.gov/usao-nd
Tuesday, December 13, 2022

A “Tango Blast” Gang Member (Texas Based Criminal Street Gang) Sentenced to Federal Prison in North Dakota

Fargo – United States Attorney Mac Schneider announced that Joel Alejandro Quinonez, age 34 of Puebla, Mexico, appeared before Chief Judge Peter D. Welte, U.S. District Court, Fargo, ND, and was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for the charges of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession of Firearms in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, Possession of Firearms by a Convicted Felon, and Reentry of Removed Alien Subsequent to a Felony Conviction. Judge Welte also sentenced Quinonez to four years of supervised release.

Investigation revealed that on April 21, 2021, Quinonez was deported from the United States back to his home country of Mexico. During the summer of 2021, Quinonez traveled back into the United States and in approximately November of 2021, Quinonez traveled to North Dakota and began to distribute drugs from local hotel rooms. Local narcotics investigators executed a search warrant on January 20, 2022, on a hotel room rented by Jamie Lynn Garcia and seized three firearms, approximately two pounds of methamphetamine, and $6,121 in cash from Quinonez and Garcia.

On September 26, 2022, Jamie Garcia was sentenced to 93 months in federal prison for her role in the drug trafficking conspiracy.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Moorhead, MN Police Department, Fargo Police Department, and the West Fargo Police Department, and the case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, with Assistant United States Attorney Chris Myers assigned to the case.

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