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One of Two Men Indicted in 11 Kilogram Heroin Conspiracy Pleads Guilty

FRESNO, CA — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Gerardo Norzagaray-Pereda, 31, of Mexico, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute heroin and methamphetamine.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Elana Landau is prosecuting the case.

According to court documents, Norzagaray-Pereda and co-defendant Armando Sanchez-Ornelas, 23, of Phoenix, were stopped on Interstate 5 in Fresno County. A search of the vehicle revealed approximately 11 kilograms of heroin and approximately 680 grams of methamphetamine in a hidden compartment. Norzagaray-Pereda admitted he was transporting the drugs from Arizona to Washington state.

Norzagaray-Pereda is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on June 20, 2011. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.


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