- Associated Press - Thursday, May 10, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Federal prosecutors allege a 25-year-old Minnesota woman is the leader of one of the biggest methamphetamine trafficking cells in the state.

Macrina Perez is “adamant about fighting” the allegations, according to Gary Wolf, her attorney. Wolf successfully lobbied against federal detention and Perez may get early release under GPS monitoring while awaiting trial, the Star Tribune reported.

“If she’s involved, she’s going to be the flea on the tail of the dog, not Dr. Evil,” Wolf said.

Prosecutors fear she may escape prosecution if she’s released.

“I submit to you that we will never see her again if you release her, even to a halfway house,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Steinkamp said.

Wolf maintained Perez is not a flight risk because she is a U.S. citizen with family in the country. Perez is a mother of two.

Perez was arrested last month at the U.S.-Mexico border during a shopping trip, Wolf said. She was also charged nearly two years ago in a sealed indictment that used information from several informants whose identities are protected by the government.

The specific charges are unclear, but are linked to a May 2016 raid of a Brooklyn Center house where authorities found 140 pounds (63.5 kilograms) of meth, $130,000 in cash and a revolver.

Authorities also found travel documents with Perez’s name, according to Thomas Maloney, a Drug Enforcement Administration officer. A confidential source said Perez supplied the gun to protect the house, Maloney said.

Investigators tracked a local man who dealt drugs, Nicholas Nelson, to the house. Nelson and the couple who managed the house, Dolores Ludmilla Castillo and Francisco Silvestre-Martinez, all pleaded guilty in the case and are serving time in federal prison.


Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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