A Burnsville woman found with more than $700,000 worth of heroin was sentenced Friday to 24 months in federal prison.
Angelica Pino-Peralta, 37, pleaded guilty in January in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis to a single count of possession with intent to distribute in a case investigated by Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force agents. It’s the third time in less than a year that an investigation by the local task force has netted a large quantity of drugs.
Earlier this month, task force agents seized 3 pounds of methamphetamine from a purported gang member now facing with eight drug charges in Nicollet County. And last fall, task force agents arrested four men in Minneapolis in the state’s largest meth bust, seizing about 170 pounds of the drug, worth an estimate $7.75 million.
Charges were initially filed against Pino-Peralta in Dakota County District Court in October 2018, but dropped in favor of federal charges which carry a stiffer penalty.
According to court documents, task force agents searched Pino-Peralta’s home on Oct. 10, 2018, finding more than 8 pounds of heroin in the bedroom of an apartment she shared with her children. At the time, Pino-Peralta told investigators she was holding the drugs for another person, but later admitted she intended to distribute a portion of the heroin.
In a letter to Chief Judge John R. Tunheim, Pino-Peralta expressed remorse for her crime and detailed the effects her incarceration is having on her four children. One, she said, was suicidal, another had withdrawn, yet another had become depressed.
“I still have goals with my family that I need to fulfill,” she wrote in a letter translated from the original, written in Spanish. “I beg you to give me a chance, just one, I promise you, as I have promised God that I will not fail again as a person, nor as a mother. I will not be like many women I have met here while being incarcerated, women who come in and out of jail as their second home. I will not be one more of them, I will take advantage of the very second that God will grant me, to get ahead with my children and to live a straight and dignified life before God.”
Pino-Peralta is a Mexican national and may be subject to deportation upon completion of her sentence, which includes three years of supervised release.
“This large seizure had an impact on distribution in our state and potentially saved lives. Agents will continue to target distributors of this dangerous drug whenever possible,” said task force commander Sgt. Paul LaRoche. The task force includes law enforcement in LeSueur and Rice counties.
The Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force investigated the case with assistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.