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Leader of Rochester drug gang heading to federal prison

Marco Avila Marco Avila

Authorities say he continued drug dealing while behind bars.

Posted: May. 22, 2018 1:04 PM
Updated: May. 22, 2018 1:07 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Rochester-based drug dealer is heading to federal prison.

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Marco Antonio Avila, 30 of San Jose, California, has been sentenced to 26 years behind bars after pleading guilty to leading a criminal organization from December 2015 through June 2017 that not only supplied and distributed drugs but engaged in a violent shooting war with a rival drug gang in the Rochester Area.

Avila was indicted in Minnesota Federal Court in January 2017 and pleaded guilty in May 2017 to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine. Authorities say while Avila was awaiting sentencing in the Anoka County Adult Detention Facility, he continued to run his drug operation from June 2017 until September 2017. Avila was charged again and pleaded guilty in January to a second count of conspiracy to distribute meth.

After serving his prison sentence, Avila will have to spend 10 years on supervised release.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota says this investigation and conviction was the result of the combined efforts of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Southeast Minnesota Violent Crime Enforcement Team, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Anoka-Hennepin Drug Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Rochester Police Department, the St. Paul Police Department, the Worthington Police Department, the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics & Gang Task Force, and the Minnesota State Patrol.

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