Modesto Football Coach Indicted for Cocaine Trafficking
JUN 30 -- SACRAMENTO, Calif.—United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña, announced today that ARMANDO VASQUEZ PEREZ, 28, of Modesto, California, and three others, were indicted today of five counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and distribution of cocaine. The five counts allege that PEREZ, a youth sports coach, was the cocaine supplier for a conspiracy that began in July 2007 and ended with his arrest on June 13, 2008. This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Jason Hitt, who is prosecuting the case, PEREZ was indicted along with JAIME FLORES, 25, NARCISCO MARTINEZ, 27, and GUADALUPE GUTIERREZ, 33, all of Modesto. According to the court documents, MARTINEZ sold large quantities of powder cocaine to a DEA undercover agent in September 2007 and May 2008. During the investigation, agents discovered that MARTINEZ was in frequent telephone contact with PEREZ before and after the cocaine deals. Law enforcement suspected PEREZ was supplying cocaine to MARTINEZ through his cousin FLORES. Subsequent investigation confirmed that suspicion. Specifically, on May 9, 2008, during an undercover drug transaction with MARTINEZ, agents watched and videotaped MARTINEZ meet with PEREZ and FLORES, at Los Compadres Auto Sales. According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, this meeting was consistent with MARTINEZ returning to his drug supplier, PEREZ, and providing him with some of the proceeds from the drug sale.
The investigation culminated on June 12, 2008, when the undercover agent arranged to purchase 2½ kilograms of cocaine from MARTINEZ in Modesto. After a series of recorded calls, MARTINEZ arrived at a Rite Aid parking lot in Salida, at which time MARTINEZ was arrested. At the time of his arrest, law enforcement discovered that MARTINEZ was in possession of approximately two kilograms of cocaine. Agents seized approximately one pound of cocaine from MARTINEZ’s residence at 904 Countryside Lane, Modesto. After being placed under arrest, MARTINEZ admitted that his cocaine supplier in July 2007 was PEREZ and FLORES. Agents served a federal search warrant at 1010 Sylvan Meadows Drive, Modesto, a residence MARTINEZ had been earlier that day. From the location, law enforcement seized approximately one kilogram cocaine and arrested FLORES. Agents also discovered a “kilo press,” a device commonly used by drug traffickers to add adulterant to existing bricks of cocaine and then press the adulterated kilogram of cocaine back into the form of a kilogram brick. The street value of the seized cocaine is approximately $60,000.
The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment by Judge Kimberly J. Mueller at 2:00 p.m., on June 27, 2008. The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of cocaine is 40 years in prison. The maximum statutory penalty for distribution of cocaine is 20 years in prison. In this case, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison on Counts 1 and 5 of the indictment based upon the amount cocaine alleged in those counts. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables and any applicable statutory sentencing factors. The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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