ROCKFORD – A man who was arrested on a drug trafficking charge in 1989 in Rock Falls and fled before trial was sentenced this week in federal court in Rockford.
Roberto Alvarado, 61, of Freeport, was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office.
U.S. District Judge Frederick Kapala ordered that Alvarado, a citizen of Mexico, be deported after he finishes his prison term.
On Dec. 1, 1989, Alvarado was arrested on a charge of trying to sell 1,414 grams of cocaine.
Two weeks later, he was released on a $20,000 bond pending trial, but he failed to show for a court appearance on Sept. 18, 1990. He had fled Illinois, the news release said. An arrest warrant was issued.
On June 23, 2013, Alvarado was a passenger in a car that a Montana state police trooper stopped for speeding. The trooper identified Alvarado as wanted by the FBI and took him into custody. A federal magistrate ordered Alvarado be detained and taken to Rockford.
On Dec. 4, he pleaded guilty to trafficking drugs as part of a plea agreement.
At sentencing, the judge noted the amount of time that Alvarado had spent as a fugitive and fount it to be an aggravating factor in imposing the sentence, according to the news release.