DOUGLAS, Ariz. — A southern Arizona woman was sentenced Aug. 21 for possessing over 15 pounds of cocaine for distribution and sale. The sentence is the result of a joint investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Douglas Police Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Arizona Department of Transportation.

“This success of this drug investigation was made possible by the hard work of multiple law enforcement agencies from the local and federal level,” said HSI Douglas Assistant Special Agent in Charge Howard Bolick. “Together, we were able to prevent a substantial amount of drugs from reaching the streets. I’m proud to stand alongside our partner agencies as we work to further any investigation.”

The case began on March 15, when Zulema Ruas Madrid, 43, of Mexico, was arrested as part of the multiagency operation. Officials found her in possession of approximately 15.52 pounds of cocaine and charged her with possession of a narcotic drug, possession of narcotic drugs for sale, and transportation of narcotic drugs. Madrid was indicted through the Cochise County Superior Court on four counts: possession or use of narcotic drugs, sale or transportation of narcotic drugs, possession of narcotic drugs for sale, and assisting a criminal syndicate. She pleaded guilty Aug. 7.

A judge sentenced Madrid to three years imprisonment with the Arizona Department of Corrections.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.