Meth Dealer on Gila River Indian Reservation Found Guilty
MAR 23 -- PHOENIX - Juan Nava-Calderon, 26, an illegal alien from Mexico, was found guilty by a federal jury today of Conspiracy to Possess With Intent to Distribute 500 grams or More of Methamphetamine and Possession With Intent To Distribute over 500 grams of Methamphetamine. The crimes occurred primarily at the residence of co-conspirator Secundino Favela, 51, on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Bapuchle, Ariz.
Favela pleaded guilty on August 27, 2008, to Conspiracy With Intent to Distribute over 500 Grams of Methamphetamine. Favela was sentenced on February 9, 2009, to 12 years in prison. Another co-conspirator, Mario Ramirez-Martinez, 44, also in the country illegally, pleaded guilty on March 18, 2009, as charged to Conspiracy to Possess With Intent to Distribute 500 grams or More of Methamphetamine and Possession With Intent To Distribute over 500 grams of Methamphetamine. Sentencing for both Nava-Calderon and Ramirez-Martinez is set before Judge Roslyn O. Silver on June 1, 2009.
In February and April 2008 several purchases of methamphetamine were monitored by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and provided the basis for a search warrant. On April 28, 2008 a federal search warrant was executed and the search of the residence yielded, among other things, multiple assault rifles, handguns and $76,523 in U.S. currency. A search of a car on the property yielded approximately four pounds of methamphetamine. In total, the conspiracy involved over six pounds of methamphetamine and over $104,000 in U.S. currency.
A conviction for Conspiracy to Possess With Intent to Distribute 500 grams or More of Methamphetamine and Possession With Intent To Distribute over 500 grams of Methamphetamine each carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, to a maximum penalty of life, in prison, a $4,000,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Silver will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Gila River Police Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution is being handled by Howard D. Sukenic and James B. Morse Jr., Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
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