News Release
May 21, 2009
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
Number: 404-893-7124

California Man Receives Over 30 Years in Prison for
Drug Trafficking

MAY 21 -- RALEIGH, NC - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding, announced that in federal court yesterday, United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced FERNANDO MICHAEL NUNEZ, 25, of La Puente, California, to 365 months imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release.

On October 6, 2008, a Criminal Information was filed charging NUNEZ with possession with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. That same day, NUNEZ pled guilty to the charge.

On August 14, 2007, a Granville County Sheriff’s Deputy was on patrol on US Hwy 15 in Creedmoor, North Carolina, when he stopped a vehicle that contained NUNEZ as a passenger, for speeding. The driver appeared very nervous which made the deputy suspicious. Consent to search the car was asked for and given. During the search, nine cardboard boxes containing 901 pounds of marijuana were found. The driver then admitted to traveling to Laredo, Texas to pick-up the marijuana for another individual.

The driver was to receive $15,000 to pick-up and deliver the marijuana to a residence in Oxford, North Carolina. Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the DEA Atlanta Field Division (AFD) said of the guilty plea, “Marijuana is a dangerous drug that poses a clear and present danger to the community. Because of the collective efforts of our local, state and federal law enforcement counterparts, this defendant was brought to justice.”

United States Attorney George Holding commented, “The deputy’s vigilance and training paid off. This crime was detected because of his skills and abilities. Many times crimes such as these are discovered because of local law enforcement performing their daily duties. We commend the deputy for his dedication.”

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Granville County Sheriff’s Office and the Creedmoor Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes served as prosecutor for the government.

DEA’s SAC Benson encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at, and