A 37-year-old mother of five has been sentenced to three years and 10 months in a federal prison after pleading guilty to federal firearm and drug charges.
Josephine Joann Quintanilla pleaded guilty on March 31, 2017, to one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of drug user in possession of firearms and ammunition.
Her sentencing was delayed to allow for the completion of a related investigation, according to the court record.
Law enforcement officers first questioned Quintanilla at the Palm Ridge Hotel in Barrigada on April 2, 2016. A separate investigation into a shipment of meth was underway, states the plea agreement.
Quintanilla was with her 2-year-old daughter and, according to the court record, she told the investigators that she was a drug user. She consented to a search of her home where authorities found a digital scale, straws containing suspected meth and drug paraphernalia.
Two weeks later, on April 26, 2016, Quintanilla sold three firearms and 32 rounds of ammunition “to a source of information,” according to the court record. In June 2016, she went to California, purchased meth and shipped it to Guam where it was seized by U.S. Postal Service inspectors, states the plea agreement.
In court yesterday, Quintanilla said she has “learned a lot from being incarcerated.” She told the judge, “I’m glad I was arrested” and “I could have died.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rosetta San Nicolas described Quintanilla as “a danger to the public … a drug user, selling guns and sending drugs to Guam.”
San Nicolas said the 28.24 grams of meth Quintanilla shipped to Guam had a purity of 95 percent and a value of $500 a gram which amounts to more than $14,000. “She was doing it to make money,” San Nicolas added.
Quintanilla’s attorney, Leslie Travis, painted a different picture. She said Quintanilla never actually possessed the weapons she sold. “She had to arrange to get the firearms from someone else,” said Travis. She also said the 28 grams of meth purchased by Quintanilla was a relatively small amount compared to what other defendants had.
Travis urged the judge to adopt the shorter sentence recommended by the federal probation office – three years and a month.
However, District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood decided to impose the higher sentence San Nicolas asked for.
“You made a very terrible mistake,” the judge said. “You have no business being the mother of five children.”
However, the judge added, “there’s always hope,” and she urged Quintanilla to rehabilitate herself.