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Woman from Mexico pleads guilty after arrest with 21 pounds of meth
icy main Jan. 2020
Ice on Main Street Great Bend, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. - photo by Daniel Kiewel

WICHITA — A woman from Mexico who was stopped in Russell County with 21 pounds of methamphetamine pleaded guilty Monday to a federal charge of drug trafficking, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Maria Alonso-Espinoza, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The Kansas Highway Patrol stopped her car on Feb. 26 on Interstate 70 near Russell. Her brother was driving and she was riding as a passenger. She was the registered owner of the car.

 Troopers found 21 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in the driver’s-side rear quarter panel. Investigators learned Alonso-Espinoza was taking the methamphetamine from Colorado to Wichita for distribution.

 Sentencing is set for Jan. 27. She could face a penalty of not less than 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $10 million. McAllister commended the Kansas Highway Patrol, the Wichita Police Department and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst for their work on the case.