Fugitive Appears in Court After Arrest in Mexico
JAN 08 -- SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams, announced today that JORGE ALBERT REYES, 30, of Sacramento, made his initial appearance in the Eastern District of California this afternoon charged with conspiring to distribute and the distribution of significant qualities of methamphetamine between Alaska and the Midwest.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, the Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, Sacramento Police Department, California Department of Justice (Cal-MMET), the Milwaukee HIDTA, Illinois State Police, Anchorage Police Department, Nevada County Sheriff’s Department, Yuba-Sutter County Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET-5), Placer County Sheriff’s Department, and the Los Angeles HIDTA.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Michael M. Beckwith, who is prosecuting the case, REYES was recently arrested by U.S. Marshals and Mexican federal law enforcement in the town of San Francisco del Rincon in Guanajuato, Mexico. REYES has been a federal fugitive since August 13, 2008. He was flown from Mexico City to Phoenix, and then to Sacramento in U.S. Marshal custody. He remains in custody.
REYES is one of 51 defendants charged in nine related indictments that stem from a 13-month federal investigation with connections to six different states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Alaska, Georgia, and California. Drugs seizures occurred in California, Alaska, Illinois, and Georgia. REYES is alleged to have led one of the four drug rings federal and state investigators dismantled in August of 2008. As a result of this investigation, officers seized several pounds of methamphetamine (the ring leaders are charged with conspiring to distribute at least 15 to 22 pounds each), over 15 firearms, six marijuana grow houses (approximately 300 to 1,300 plants per house), 13,000 MDMA (Ecstasy) pills, and a methamphetamine lab capable of producing 10 to 20 pounds of methamphetamine per reaction. Some defendants are also being charged with possession of 36 pounds of pseudoephedrine. Investigators seized approximately $890,000 in alleged criminal assets over the course of the investigation.
If convicted, REYES faces a maximum statutory penalty of life imprisonment, a $4,000,000 fine, and five-years to life of supervised release. 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 defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.